Re-orienting health services

Re-orienting health services:

Health services re-orientation is characterized by a more explicit concern for the achievement of population health outcomes in the ways in which the health system is organized and funded. This must lead to a change of attitude and organization of health services, which focuses on the needs of the individual as a whole person, balanced against the needs of population groups.

Reference: adapted from Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion. WHO, Geneva, 1986

The Ottawa Charter also emphasizes the importance of a health sector which contributes to the pursuit of health. Responsibility for achieving this is shared between all the health professions, health service institutions and government, alongside the contribution of individuals and communities served by the health sector. In most cases this will require an expansion in health promotion and disease prevention action to achieve an optimal balance between investments in health promotion, illness prevention, diagnosis, treatment, care and rehabilitation services. Such an expanded role need not always be achieved through an increase in direct health system activity. Action by sectors other than the health sector may be more effective in achieving improved health outcomes. Governments need to acknowledge the key role of the health sector in supporting such intersectoral action for health.

See also Health Promoting Hospitals

Source: Health Promotion Glossary (1998), WHO/HPR/HEP/98.1