The new public health guideline for 2011–2017 was launched in partnership with WHO/Europe in April 2011. It includes a renewed emphasis on disease prevention and health promotion as well as addressing inequity in health. Health and well-being need to be considered as part of a whole-of-government approach and become central to the country’s overall development. The government commits itself to achieve “better health for all in Latvia” by strengthening public health and addressing inequity in health through multiple stakeholders.
Health indicators in Latvia have started to improve in recent years due to well-planned and carefully implemented government policies. However, the indicators as well as public health expenditure are still lower than they should be. It is necessary to invest in health in the face of economic recession and increasing health care costs across Europe. The new guideline points out the necessity of better promoting healthy lifestyles and investing in other sectors. There is the need of developing ways to motivate children to be healthy, make health information more attractive, make healthy lifestyles part of business and include health in all policies.
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