Building integrated health systems in central and eastern Europe - An analysis of WHO and World Bank views and their relevance to health systems in transition

Diana M. J. Delnoij, Niek S. Klazinga, Koos van der Velden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Two questions are addressed. i) What are the views on health and health systems as expressed in the World Development Report 2000/2001 of the WB and the World Health Report 2000 and Health 21 of the World Health Organization, and how compatible are those views? ii) To what extent will compliance of CEEC and NIS with the WHO and WB recommendations, result in health systems that produce maximum health for all by adequately addressing the needs of their populations? Method: The reports prepared by the World Bank and the World Health Organization were assessed against the theoretical framework of a needs-based public health approach. Results: It is observed that the WHO and WB approaches are currently converging, although there remain differences in their respective focuses. The main merit of the WHO approach is its focus on performance and the systems approach towards health (care). The merit of the WB view is the integrated approach to health, education and poverty. It is argued that CEEC and NIS need to anticipate an ageing population and growing numbers of chronically ill. This calls for integrated health care systems and more integrated funding and payment systems. Conclusion: The recommendations provided in the WHR and the WDR with regard to integrated care and integrated financing remain rather abstract. Advisors of CEEC and NIS on health care reform and Western assistance projects should focus more on future needs, in order to avoid building health systems that consistently lag behind the needs of their populations
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)240-245
JournalEuropean Journal of Public Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2003

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