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Cooperation between Universities and State Institutions - a Prerequisite for the Success of Healthcare Policies

A team from MU-Varna participated at 36th Plenary Session of the South Eastern Europe Health Network (SEEHN) and the summit "Strengthening Health Systems for Universal Health Coverage in Order to Achieve Better Health and Wellbeing", held on 10th and 11th December 2015, in Tirana (Albania). The meeting was attended by representatives of the Ministries of Health of Romania, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, Moldova and Israel, as well as by experts from the Regional Office of the World Health Organization (WHO) for Europe and members of the Executive Committee of SEEHN (www The forum was opened by the Minister of Health of the Republic of Albania, Mr. Ilir Beqaj, who is also the Chairman of the Network during the present Albanian chairmanship. A report on the activities undertaken during the Albanian chairmanship was delivered, and a road map and an event calendar for the first half of 2016 was adopted, when the chairmanship is to be handed over to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The main topics of the discussions during the first day were related to cross-border public healthcare for health security, health inequalities, social determinants of health and intersectoral actions by 2020. On the second day the participants discussed universal health coverage and made proposals for joint projects and actions in this field in 2016/17. The current issues of migration and healthcare were discussed as well. During the summit an action plan was presented, as well as a schedule for the preparation of the 4th Forum of the Ministers of South Eastern Europe, which is to be held in Chisinau (Moldova), in November 2016. The Deputy Minister of Health of Moldova Dr. Nicolae Jelamschi was unanimously elected Chairman of the Executive Committee of SEEHN.

 The team of Medical University - Varna presented the results of the Technical Meeting on Transforming Health Workforce Education and Training in Support of Health 2020, which was organized in cooperation with WHO Regional Office for Europe and SEEHN, and was held on 9th and 10th November 2015 in Varna. At the forum in Tirana, the organization of the meeting was highly appreciated, and once again the support for opening a Regional Centre for Education, Training and Policies in Healthcare at Medical University - Varna was clearly restated. This initiative was supported in special meetings of the management team of the Ministry of Health with the management of MU-Varna. There is ongoing correspondence for submitting the application for the establishment of the Centre.

At the invitation of the Ambassador of the Republic of Bulgaria in Albania H.E. Dimitar Arnaudov, the representatives of MU-Varna Prof. Todorka Kostadinova, Aneta Dokova and Siyana Boynovska visited the Bulgarian Embassy in Tirana . The Ambassador acquainted the guests from Bulgaria with the systems and the problems of education and healthcare in Albania and expressed his satisfaction with the dynamic development of the University of Varna and its international reputation as a prestigious higher medical school.