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CEI-WHO TF on balancing delivery of essential healthcare services

How to ensure essential healthcare services whilst responding to the COVID-19 emergency was the focus of today’s webinar, organised with WHO Europe in the context of the CEI-WHO Task Force, dedicated to a dual-track primary healthcare response to the pandemic.

Melitta Jakab, WHO Head of Office - European Center for Primary Health Care in Almaty (Kazakhstan), presented findings on the health-service disruptions due to Covid-19 and the dual-track approach of primary care to ensure service delivery. WHO and Italian National Institute of Health and Science of Ageing experts also addressed health workforce policies, especially with regard to getting ahead of the numbers and the provision of psycho-social support.  

The features of a dual-track dynamic approach were outlined by the speakers, with special emphasis on the role of primary care and cross-cutting enablers in the health system, and on how to protect vulnerable groups in the context of long-term care, health workforce and digital health solutions.

Experiences from Member States contributed to the discussion, as they remarked that although much was being done to leave no one behind, more attention ought to be paid to assist the most affected groups of citizens such as the elderly, the working population as well as children and that investing in preventive measures for a safe-environment-for-all was crucial.

The overall opinion was, therefore, that service delivery needs to adapt to the various stages of the pandemic with rapid shifts in priorities and allocation of resources while maintaining a baseline functionality for both – i.e. a challenging dual-track approach especially for policymakers and healthcare managers.

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