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(2012; 9 pages)
Access to essential, quality health technologies (HT) – medicines, medical devices and other essential health technologies – is a fundamental part of every person’s right to health. Country health systems must ensure access to quality HT and their rational and ethical use for individual and community wellbeing.
The organization and capacity of national health systems vary widely across the European Region. Challenges differ depending on these but lie in national policies, access, rational use, regulation and quality assurance. While access continues to be high in many European countries, the financial, economic and social crisis in Europe has, in the worst affected countries, highlighted and increased the gaps in access to health technologies. Those without health insurance coverage are vulnerable and are suffering the burden and consequences of the crisis. Growing inequality is fast becoming a pressing issue.
The current report summarizes the 2012 work of the Health Technologies and Pharmaceuticals (HTP) team, Division of Health Systems and Public Health (DSP), WHO Regional Office for Europe in supporting Member States and contributing to health in the WHO European Region, in line with the Tallinn Charter and Health 2020.