Northern Dimension Partnership in Public Health and Social Well-being

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05 March
 

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6th Northern Dimension Senior Officials Meeting

5 March 2019, Brussels, Belgium

Intervention by the Director of the NDPHS Secretariat.

What next in this Partnership

Ladies and Gentlemen,
 
 
Thank you for the invitation to this meeting and the opportunity to address you on behalf of the Northern Dimension Partnership in Public Health and Social Well-being.
 
The original Northern Dimension Policy will celebrate the 20th anniversary this year, and our Partnership is just four years younger. As of today, we have grown into a mature network combining policy and decision makers, experts and a well-established Secretariat hosted by Sweden. We deliver practical results that have a real impact.
 
As an example, our Antimicrobial Resistance Expert Group has just completed its work on the EU co-financed project “Northern Dimension Antibiotic Resistance Study” (NoDARS). Nowadays antimicrobial resistance is among the most serious health threats and extensive knowledge of the antibiotic resistance epidemiology is important to help countries design more effective and efficient approaches to the antimicrobial resistance. NoDARS provided new useful information on the levels of antibiotic resistance in the region and will form a basis for international and governmental organisations and policy makers to make evidence-based decisions. Some countries have already informed that they will adjust their national guidelines in line with the project’s recommendations.
 
However, we cannot and we are not going to rest on laurels. We all understand that there are tasks and challenges ahead. Our Partnership is one of the many regional collaborative networks and sometimes we are competing for the attention of governments and experts, whose resources are limited and need to be prioritized. Therefore we need to show a clear added value and impact of our work. When relevant, we will join our forces with other organizations and networks. Many of them already are our Partner organizations, including the World Health Organization, the Barents Euro-Arctic Council, the Nordic Council of Ministers and others. We hope that the on-going NDPHS evaluation financed by the EU will provide some useful insights and will inform the development of the new NDPHS strategy, which will replace the current NDPHS Strategy 2020.  
 
The scope of the new strategy is not defined yet. We will look into priorities of our Partners, as well as the internationally agreed targets, such as Sustainable Development Goals, to formulate our own strategy. However, already now there is one area that has emerged as a strong Partnership’s priority for the coming years. It is health of senior citizens. All the Partners in the NDPHS are experiencing growth in the number and proportion of older persons with implications for all sectors of society. Health systems are poorly aligned with the needs of the increased number of older persons they now serve and efficient policies are needed to mitigate the pressure on national budgets. 
 
This NDPHS is working on developing an umbrella project that will contribute to the process of advancing health and well-being of people in their older age and ensuring enabling and supportive environments for that. The unique method of cooperation within the Partnership where experts and policy makers engage in a direct dialogue, would be a key foundation to make this joint ambition to become a reality.
 
At the end of this year ministers responsible for health will meet in Riga for the Partnership Annual Conference. Defining the priorities of the NDPHS cooperation for the next few years will be among the items on the agenda. From then on, we will have a year of intensive work ahead of us, to prepare the new strategy and decide on the future thematic focus areas and expert-level structures of the Partnership, as the mandates of the seven NDPHS Expert Groups will expire in the end of 2020. 
 
Thank you for your attention and I will be happy to answer any questions that you might have.
 
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