eISSN: 2450-5722
ISSN: 2450-5927
Journal of Health Inequalities
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1/2017
vol. 3
 
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abstract:
Original paper

Norwegian support for tackling health inequalities in Lithuania: the process, pitfalls and results

Mindaugas Stankunas
1
,
Ramune Kalediene
1
,
Rolanda Valinteliene
2
,
Rimantas Stukas
3
,
Aurelijus Veryga
1
,
Ausra Berzanskyte
3
,
Raimonda Janoniene
2
,
Gintare Petronyte
2
,
Kastytis Smigelskas
1
,
Ieva Radzeviciute
2
,
Neringa Seseikaite
1
,
Egle Rimaviciene
1
,
Vilma Jasiukaitiene
1

1.
Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Kaunas, Lithuania
2.
Institute of Hygiene, Vilnius, Lithuania
3.
Vilnius University, Vilnius, Lithuania
J Health Inequal 2017; 3 (1): 5–10
Online publish date: 2017/06/30
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Socioeconomic inequalities in health and health care are important challenges for public health. In terms of health inequalities, Lithuania is among the most unfavourable countries in the European Union. In 2014, the Lithuanian Parliament approved its “Health Programme 2014-2025”. One strategic goal of this programme is to reduce health and health care inequalities in Lithuania.

Between 2014 and 2016 the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Vilnius University, Klaipeda University and the Institute of Hygiene implemented a project called “Development of a Model for Strengthening Capacities to Identify and Reduce Health Inequalities”. This project was financed by the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2009-2014 Programme “Public Health Initiatives” and implemented in 2014-2016. The purpose of the project was to develop an evidence-based platform for health and health care inequalities to monitor and strengthen the administrative capacities of personnel involved in policy making at national and municipal levels. It included four main actions: 1) analysis of the present situation in monitoring and reducing health inequalities; 2) development of a sustainable health inequalities monitoring system; 3) development of a set of recommendations for public health professionals for health inequalities reduction; and 4) capacity development of public health professionals and health policy makers in the area of health inequalities.

We expect that recommendations coming from this project will contribute to change practices in the target groups, thereby improving public health and reducing health and health care inequalities in Lithuania. Moreover, this model could serve as an example relevant for other countries confronted with the task of tackling health inequalities.
keywords:

health inequalities, socioeconomic differences, Norwegian support, Lithuania

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