Almost 70 participants including politicians, health experts, coordinators and other stakeholders from cities and towns attended the Czech Healthy Cities' seminar on Public health – the topic of the upcoming local elections in 2018. The event was held under the aegis of the Minister of Health Adam Vojtech.
Healthy Cities of the Czech Republic reported on the latest activities, up-to-date information and services offered to its members. Systemic health promotion and the related quality of life are the main areas of interest of Czech Healthy cities and regions and it is therefore an essential part of the effort for comprehensive sustainable development. It is important for cities and towns to draw up their own expert action framework – a health plan which will set out specific objectives and activities to promote health and will be linked to annual financial management of the city budget or seeking support from external sources.
The presentation of the Regional Office of the National Institute of Public Health in Jihlava discussed how local politicians could use the issue of health more effectively. Leaders of cities, towns and regions are not always successful in harnessing the communication potential of the health issue and health status of the population. Apart from that, municipalities can manage a wide range of tools to influence the health status of their citizens – subsidy schemes, projects and awareness campaigns to promote health and healthy lifestyles, and public fora to discuss and plan health together with citizens, etc.
National Health Promotion Network looked at what and how cities and towns can or cannot influence through their local health policies. From the perspective of a municipality, it is crucial to have a systemic approach based on risk analysis and knowledge of the health status of the population. Only when such an analysis is carried out, it can be followed up by a health plan or a policy aimed at creating conditions for good health of the population. The Institute of Health Information and Statistics of the Czech Republic informed the participants about the data sources aimed at evaluating health indicators at regional and local level. Furthermore, the Institute introduced the National Health Information System, which has undergone significant change in recent years. It is a unified national information system of public administration which collects and processes personal and other data from basic registers of public authorities, ministries and health service providers.
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