European Observatory, WHO/Europe and European Commission publish special issue of Eurohealth examining health system responses to COVID-19

As countries across the WHO European Region face a steep surge in COVID-19 transmission, the latest issue of Eurohealth, released today, considers whether there is still an opportunity to use the crisis to tackle underlying problems besetting our health systems.

This special edition is a collaboration between the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, WHO/Europe and the European Commission, and draws on data from the COVID-19 Health System Response Monitor launched in April.

It includes contributions from WHO Regional Director for Europe Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge and WHO/Europe colleagues Dr Natasha Azzopardi-Muscat and Dr Dorit Nitzan; European Observatory Director Dr Josep Figueras; and Ms Sandra Gallina and Ms Isabel de la Mata from the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety.

As well as offering perspectives on the pandemic, this issue of Eurohealth provides analyses of the policy decisions, progress and challenges experienced across countries under the following headings:

  • Preventing transmission
  • Physical infrastructure and workforce capacity
  • Health service provision
  • Paying for services
  • Governance.

Finally, the publication provides an overview of emerging innovative practices in managing the pandemic and ongoing service provision, and outlines policy lessons for the future.

United action for better health

Understanding how health systems have responded to COVID-19 is an important part of the European Programme of Work’s (EPW) core priorities. The EPW shapes the European Region’s contribution to WHO’s 13th General Programme of Work, which sets out the triple-billion goals: more people benefitting from universal health coverage, more people better protected from health emergencies, and more people enjoying better health and well-being.

Eurohealth is a quarterly publication that provides a forum for researchers, policy-makers and experts to express their views on health policy issues and so contribute to a constructive debate on health policy in Europe.

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