BAKU, 1 August 2019 – WHO Country Office in Azerbaijan organised a roundtable discussion on the outcomes of a four-day WHO mission, which aimed to support the government of Azerbaijan in their health transformation efforts. The mission experts looked specifically at the future of the primary health care system in order to modernize and strengthen it.
The event brought together representatives from the Ministry of Health, State Agency on Mandatory Health Insurance, Medical University, Public Health and Reforms Centre, Baku Health Department, Postgraduate Medical Institute, Milli Majlis (Parliament), UN agencies, as well as embassies and international organisations.
“Azerbaijan is taking very big steps to strengthen the health system, especially the Primary Healthcare, and WHO is proud to assist by making its expertise available to the country,” Dr. Hande Harmanci, WHO Representative and Head of Country Office, said in her opening speech.
“This mission was a great opportunity to observe the new system in action and provide our recommendations to contribute to a successful roll out. A strong healthcare system is a cornerstone of sustainable development, and the key to building the prosperous future we all want and deserve,” Dr. Harmanci concluded.
Important transformation efforts have been taking place in Azerbaijan in the past three years with the aim to increase the quality of health care services and decrease the out-of-pocket expenditures in health.
Since the beginning of this year, WHO has supported Azerbaijan in this area by evidence-based guidance and technical expertise, opportunities for direct observation and experience for national technical experts and by technical missions of WHO experts to provide recommendations for improvements.
Next steps are to work on a pilot of primary healthcare strengthening to build the best model for Azerbaijan. This is extremely important since primary care is usually the first contact for all people and a great majority of illnesses can be detected and treated at this level.