Wed. Oct 21st, 2020

WHO Regional Director for Europe, Dr Hans Kluge, and the Minister of Health of the Hellenic Republic, Dr Vasileios Kikilias, signed a joint statement on strengthening collaboration on quality of care and patient safety.

Joint statement by Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe and Dr Vasileios Kikilias, Minister of Health of the Hellenic Republic

15 October 2020

The Ministry of Health of the Hellenic Republic and the WHO Regional Office for Europe (WHO/Europe) share a common ambition to achieve the highest level of well-being, health and health protection, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.

Building on WHO’s Thirteenth General Programme of Work 2019-2023, WHO/Europe has developed a new European Programme of Work, 2020–2025 – “United Action for Better Health in Europe”. It sets out a vision of how WHO/Europe can better support countries in meeting citizens’ expectations regarding health and access to health care, leaving no one behind. WHO/Europe aims to step up support for its Member States in moving towards universal health coverage, protecting people better against health emergencies, and ensuring healthy lives and well-being for all at all ages.

The new European Programme of Work, which was recently adopted by the 53 Member States of the WHO European Region, provides a good opportunity to reflect on the coherence of policies, structures and resources for ensuring quality of health care, and the implications for policy dialogue, policy formulation and technical assistance at the regional, subregional and country levels. Its focus on universal health coverage underlines the importance of continuity of care and taking a life-course approach.

Greece has recently spearheaded important developments in the field of health, namely its legislation banning smoking in public places, the launch of the National Action Plan Against Smoking, and reforms in the area of primary health care. A major development has been in the area of quality of care and patient safety, with the launch of the relevant law and the establishment of the National Quality of Care Organization. The above, combined with the excellence of Greek health institutions and its top-class researchers in the field of health and well-being, demonstrate Greece’s strong leadership in the context of the European Region and beyond; furthermore, they create an ideal context for the establishment of a much-needed centre of excellence in the area of quality of care and patient safety.

The envisaged centre would serve the needs of the southern European countries, with a particular focus on the provision of technical assistance, support and leadership in relation to quality of care and patient safety.

Working together

Within the scope of these priorities and mutual interests, and considering the added value for the WHO European Region, its southern European Member States, and the Ministry of Health of the Hellenic Republic, the WHO Regional Office for Europe and Greece will work towards strengthening our collaboration through the establishment of a WHO centre of excellence for quality of care to be based in Athens, Greece.

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