National Health Programme


The National Health Programme (NHP) has been implemented and modified accordingly since 1990(1) . Its first version, adopted by the Council of Minister's Committe on Economy and Social Policy, was based on the WHO strategy "Health for all by the year 2000"(2) .
The NHP attempts, for the first time, to commit governmental bodies, all sectors of the national economy and the whole society to health promotion, and its guiding principle is to support and promote prevention (primary, secondary and tertiary) as a key element of health care, aimed at reversing the trend of still growing incidence of diseases and excess mortality. This principle was reflected in eight targets included already in its first version.
In 1993 the National Health Programme was modified in order " update its objectives and targets and to make them more realistic... to alter the approach to the attainment of objectives and to issue relevant executive regulations designed to establish legal mechanisms for financing and supervising the NHP implementation..."(3). The guiding principles and the structure of the Programme were also modified.
The development of the present, namely the third version of the National Health Programme (for 1996-2005) had been preceded by a thorough analysis and evaluation of activities undertaken to date by different sectors (4). The objectives and guiding principles which underpinned the decision to modify the Programme were the need:

This Programme, developed by a team of experts in cooperation with the Intersectoral Task-Force for National Health Programme Coordination, and the Section of Health Programmes at the Department of Systemic Transformations in Health Care, Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, adopted by the Council of Ministers on 3 September 1996 as a governmental document, sets objectives and guiding principles of the public health policy in Poland by the year 2005.
The concept and structure of individual sections have been slightly altered in comparison to previous versions, and now it is a flexible programme which can be further modified and amended without changing the whole document.
Let us hope that the experience gained to date in implementation of the former versions of the National Health Programme, and better understanding of the fundamental principle according to which individuals themselves are, to great extent, responsible for their own health and the health of the others will contribute to the success of concerted action for better health and better quality of life in Poland.

Ryszard Jacek Żochowski

Intersectoral Task-Force
for National Health Programme

National Health Programme