The event was hosted by the Ministry of Health and brought together over 50 representatives of the Ministry and subordinated institutions, as well as the e-Governance Centre, Ministry of Information Technologies and Communication, National Bureau of Statistics, National Health Insurance Company, National Centre of Health Management, National Centre of Public Health, National Medicines Agency, health care providers of different levels, international organizations and independent local and external experts.
Dr Andrei Usatii, Minister of Health, welcomed participants and the opportunity to initiate a broad dialogue on eHealth: "Some elements of eHealth have been developed in our health sector since 2004 but they are still fragmented, in some cases creating the impression of a chaotic and badly organized solution to support overall health system performance. It is high time to move towards a nationwide integrated and interconnected system and this is a priority issue on the Ministry of Health's agenda". Dr Usatii also expressed his gratitude to WHO and other partners for their support in the process of developing a comprehensive eHealth strategy and action plan.
"The area of eHealth is receiving increased attention in WHO at global and regional levels as well in the Republic of Moldova. We see this as an important element of health systems to improve transparency as well as to drive towards more efficient and patient-centred health services", said Dr Jarno Habicht, WHO Representative in the Republic of Moldova, adding: "It is a complex area involving multiple stakeholders that needs long-term development. I recognize the Ministry of Health for initiating the development of a strategic document to be based on a clear vision and in line with current and future e-governance developments within the country."
WHO support for eHealth
The event represents an important milestone in the overall assistance provided by WHO for development of the eHealth strategy in the Republic of Moldova. The workshop is a follow-up to the inception mission in May 2012, whose aim was to review the current status and initiate overall coordination between national and international partners.
WHO contributed to the dialogue meeting by providing direct financial and logistical support and by bringing external consultants from the WHO Collaborating Centre on Telemedicine and eHealth from Norway. This support is part of the European Commission funded technical assistance programme under WHO coordination. The objectives of the programme include strengthening stewardship of health sector investments, better performance monitoring and ensuring greater use of evidence for policy decisions.