Health reform on the agenda during Regional Director’s visit to Uzbekistan
Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe made an official visit to Uzbekistan on 18–21 November 2018. A new “Concept of Health Sector Development” was launched during the visit at a national high-level intersectoral conference, “Uzbekistan health reform in the Sustainable Development Goals era” on 20 November. It is an ambitious long-term strategic plan, seeking to advance comprehensive national health reforms and meet the health-related Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
“The new concept is built upon one of the key Sustainable Development Goals’ commitments – achieving universal health coverage for all people. This gives us important reasons to be optimistic. Tremendous gains for Uzbek people are possible if the country translates this commitment into deliverables,” stressed Dr Jakab. “We urge the government to take further steps in strengthening equity in health, intersectoral collaboration and community participation. WHO is fully committed to supporting Uzbekistan in these efforts.”
The conference brought together high-level representatives of different sectors, such as health, education, finance, civil society, the United Nations and international agencies, to map out implementation of the reform, focusing on primary health care development, health financing and strengthening governance for health and well-being at the intersectoral level.
Dr Jakab and the WHO expert delegation also met high-level government officials – Mr Abdulla Aripov, Prime Minister; Mr Abdujabar Abduvakhitov, Advisor to the President on Youth, Science, Education, Health and Sports; Mr Djamshid Kuchkarov, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance; and Dr Alisher Shadmanov, Minister of Health.
Their discussions covered a range of issues including: health information systems, a national influenza centre, the International Health Regulations, the case for investing in addressing noncommunicable diseases, the importance of the national pharmaceutical regulatory system and further collaboration with WHO.