Ministers and representatives from 52 countries in the WHO European Region met in Malta on 10-13 September 2012 for the 62nd session of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe. Dr Joseph Cassar, Minister for Health, the Elderly and Community Care of Malta spoke to the Maltese media ahead of the Regional Committee Session. WSMI was pleased to note that, with reference to the new European health policy framework, Health 2020, he declared: “I have always said that we are the Ministry of Health, not illness, and our focus should include prevention, healthy ageing and noncommunicable diseases, as these make such a big difference to people’s lives”. Health 2020 was adopted by the WHO Regional Committee for Europe on September 12th. Among the key elements of the new policy framework, relevant for self-care and self-medication, are a ”life-course” approach to healthcare and the empowerment of citizens. Health 2020 identifies citizens’ and patients’ empowerment as “key elements for improving health outcomes, health systems’ performance and satisfaction”.
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