Programme details

Plenary 2
The role of health promoting health care to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals: steps towards 2030 Thursday, April 13, 2017 09:00-10:30

Plen 2

The role of health promoting health care to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals: steps towards 2030

Venue: Audimax

SDGs and their implications for health promoting health care

Nittita PRASOPA-PLAIZIER, Technical Officer for Education and Capacity Development, WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific

Nittita has recently moved from the World Health Organization (WHO) headquarters to the WHO Western Pacific Regional Office (WPRO) to take up new responsibilities for education and capacity development for health. For the past ten years, she has worked in the areas of patient safety and health care quality, leading the global patient, family and community engagement and the advocacy and civil society engagement. In her new role at WPRO, Nittita will coordinate various education and capacity strengthening programmes aimed at supporting countries  to effectively implement  ‘Universal Health Coverage: Moving Towards Better Health - the Action Framework for the Western Pacific’.She will work with a range of institutions to strengthen capacity for engagement and empowerment for patient safety, people-centred health services and quality UHC as well as their efforts towards SDGs.

Nittita graduated from Mahidol University (Thailand), the University of Sydney (MPH), La Trobe University (MSHc) and is a PhD candidate at La Trobe University (Australia).

Abstract summary:

In 2015, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which aim "to ensure that all human beings can fulfil their potential in dignity and equality and in a healthy environment". The 17 SDGs build on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which had guided development efforts for the preceding 15 years. 

Achieving SDGs requires innovation - new ways of working that require more integrated and inclusive strategies and the 'whole-of-system' approach to ensure that the gains are enjoyed by all groups in society and that 'no one is left behind'. Accelerating towards achieving SDGs requires commitments from all stakeholders working together in collaborative partnerships, recognizing the connections between health issues and the broader social determinants as well as the development challenges.  

The WHO Western Pacific Regional Office has developed the framework 'Universal Health Coverage: Moving Towards Better Health' and provides guidance for countries to accelerate progress UHC and the 'Regional Action Agenda on Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in the Western Pacific' to guide countries in their efforts towards SDG implementation. The UHC action framework identifies five inter-related attributes of a high-performing health system namely: quality, efficiency equity, accountability and sustainability and resilience. These attribute correspond well with the health promoting hospital and health service underlying principles that include equity, participation, empowerment and sustainability.

This presentation will discuss how universal health coverage (UHC) can serve as a platform that brings together programmes and actions for health and development; how the health sector systematically and effectively address the SDGs through the 'whole-of-system' approach; what will be the role of health services and promoting hospitals and why engaging and empowering patients, families and the community is key to achieving the SDGs by 2030.

Creating synergies between HPH and SDGs

Shu-Ti CHIOU, M.D., Ph.D., M.Sc., Adjunct Associate Professor of School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, TWN
Shu-Ti CHIOU, M.D., Ph.D., M.Sc.

Shu-Ti Chiou, M.D. (specialized in family medicine) & Ph.D. in epidemiology, is the former Director-General of Health Promotion Administration in Ministry of Health and Welfare, Taiwan 2009-2016, former Chair of the Governance Board of International Network of Health Promoting Hospitals & Health Services 2012-2014, and former Global Vice President for Partnerships of the International Union for Health Promotion & Education 2013-2016. She established the "Task Force on HPH & Environment" and the "Task Force on HPH & Age-friendly Health Care". Dr. Chiou initiated several pioneering initiatives in health promotion & healthcare delivery reform, including tobacco control, breastfeeding policies, healthy city & healthy settings, cancer screening programs, obesity prevention, health-promoting healthcare initiative, diabetes shared care, age-friendly initiative, etc. and published evidences on some of their population impact.

Abstract summary:

The Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development has kicked off in 2016 with the aim to transform our world that no one will be left behind through actions for people, planet and prosperity with 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets. The 9th Global Conference on Health Promotion affirmed the links between health promotion and the 17 SDGs and released Shanghai Declaration which highlights three priority action areas- good governance, development of healthy settings, and health literacy for all. It’s important to rethink the position of the development of health promoting hospitals and health services (HPH) in this new era and update the roles & functions of HPH to leverage such global momentum and create mutual synergy. The opportunities for creation of synergies between HPH & SDGs will be examined in this speech on three aspects of HPH as a healthcare delivery reformer, a sustainable workplace for staff and their families, and a health corporate in the community that leads by example. The integration of SDGs into the management and operation of HPH will be discussed using the framework of HPH standards as a tool and the potential necessity for revisions will be checked, followed by recommendations to policy support from government at different levels to make sustainability the shared gain by health services sector and the whole community. 

The Austrian health targets: enabling healthy sustainable development on a national level

Dr. Christina DIETSCHER, Austrian Federal Ministry of Health and Women's Affairs, Department of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
Dr. Christina DIETSCHER

Christina Dietscher is acting head of department for health promotion and disease prevention at the Austrian Ministry for Health and Women’s affairs. She is responsible for developing, implementing and monitoring strategies and projects a.o. in the field of health literacy. Before joining public administration in 2015, she worked in health promotion research at the WHO Collaborating Centre for Health Promotion in Hospitals and Healthcare at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute (LBI) for the Sociology of Health and Medicine and the LBI for Health Promotion Research for more than 20 years. Her professional experiences include the evaluation, coordination, and strategic consulting of projects and networks in health promotion, especially in relation to schools, hospitals, youth work, mental health, and organizational health literacy. Christina is author of numerous publications and a frequent speaker at international and national conferences. She holds a PhD in sociology. 

Abstract summary:

Health and sustainable development are inextricably intertwined. On the one hand, health depends on societal development, especially on peace, social security and economic growth. On the other hand, health itself is a major determinant for societal innovation and development. Thus, health is both a driver for, and an outcome of, sustainable societies. For this reason, the interdependence of health and sustainable societal development is high on the political agenda – both internationally and in Austria: 

Quite recently, health has been assigned a key role in the fulfilment of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals in the 2030 era of sustainable development, which cover all areas of life, all phases of life and all sectors. Within the health sector, WHO has emphasized the vital contribution of health to sustainable development in the Shanghai Declaration that was launched during the 9th Global Conference on Health Promotion in November 2016. Also, the European Commission relates to health as a driver of economic growth in its position paper on investing in health from 2013.

In Austria, we have set up a systematic process that addresses the interdependence of health and societal development in form of national health targets. The process started in 2011 and was commissioned by the Council of Ministers, the National Assembly and the Federal Health Commission. During a one-year participatory and intersectoral process with more than 40 key political and societal stakeholders (“the plenary”), 10 health targets were defined and finally adopted by the Council of Ministers and the Federal Health Commission. They are now part of the current government program and represent an important framework for the ongoing healthcare reform process. The targets aim to continuously improve the number of healthy life years of the Austrian population, paying special attention to health equity, and their scope goes far beyond the classical health sector: the targets address the social determinants of health in all major life settings throughout the whole life course, including living, learning and working environments, city and regional planning, public safety, and ecology.

Therefore, implementing the targets cannot be achieved by the health sector alone. Rather, a health-in-all-policies approach is needed to address health determinants in all sectors. Accordingly, we have set up specific intersectoral working groups for each health target, whose task it is to define sub-targets, indicators and concrete actions to realize the targets. Monitoring is in place to assess the progress we make. And Austria also works at broadly introducing health impact assessment as a tool to foster intersectoral responsibility for health.

So far, our efforts have strengthened awareness of health equity, health in all policies, health promotion and health determinants both within the health sector and beyond. This is also supported by new intersectoral financing mechanisms. First, we have introduced so-called “Vorsorgemittel” (prevention funds) that are dedicated to funding nation-wide public health interventions that are jointly selected by representatives of the national government, the Austrian federal provinces, and social insurance. The current priority of the prevention funds is on early childhood interventions to strengthen health and health equity (“Frühe Hilfen”). Second, there are now health promotion funds in all nine Austrian federal countries. The projects and programs they fund have to be in line with the national health promotion strategy which is oriented at the health targets.

Key learnings from the Austrian experiences with the Health Targets show that it is crucial


  • to build and sustain capacities (leadership, partnership, organizational and workforce development, resource allocation) for facilitating intersectoral cooperation;
  • to showcase examples of how other sectors can benefit from activities and investments in health – very often, better health will help them to better meet their own targets;
  • to pursue a participatory approach, enabling representatives of all sectors to bring in their own perspectives and interests;
  • and to create ownership of the process across sectors. 


Last but not least, it is important to think long-term, to be creative and to avoid over-regulation in order to keep the process active and productive over prolonged periods of time.


Myoung-Ock AHN, MD, PhD, DrPH, MPH
President & CEO, National Medical Center of Korea, KOR
Myoung-Ock AHN, MD, PhD, DrPH, MPH

Dr. Ahn is President & CEO of National Medical Center of Korea and Professor of Graduate School of Health and Welfare, CHA University. She is medical doctor specialized in OB & Gyn and preventive medicine, who holds public health background as well (MPH & DrPH, PhD). Prior to this position, she was the chairman of the Advisory committee to Speaker of Korean National Assembly, Future Vision committee for the Women and Children of Korea as well as Chairman of boards of directors, Women’s Human Rights Commission of Korea. Before that she was Member of National Assembly, who was recognized as the best parliamentarian to propose the most bills and pass the most bills in the history during one term.