EHS-COVID (240) What are 'essential health services'? (2)

23 February, 2021

Dear Neil,

In response to your excellent question: What are 'essential health services'? Is there an accepted definition of this term? WHO has an essential list of medicines which is used by all its member states,

While WHO published guidelines and also examples, however countries will need to define and prioritise their list of services as 'essential'. It will be interesting to hear from our HIFA members their thoughts in the context of NCD, Communicable Diseases, Neglected Tropical Diseases, Child and Maternal Health, immunisation, Surgical services and crosscutting 'essential services' as Sanitation, Diagnostics (labs, Imaging), Blood banks etc. etc.

Best wishes

Dr Meena Nathan Cherian MBBS, MD (Anaesthesia)

Hon.Prof.Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, WHO Collaborating Centre,

Western University, Canada.

Senior Advisor, Global Action, International Society of Geriatric Oncology

(SIOG), Switzerland

Director Global Health New Challenges:online courses, Geneva Foundation for

Medical Education & Research (GFMER), Switzerland

Geneva, Switzerland. +41 763837253(m);

HIFA EHS-COVID Working Group

HIFA profile: Meena Cherian is Director, Emergency & Surgical Care program, Geneva Foundation of Medical Education and Research, Geneva, Switzerland. She is a member of the HIFA working group on Essential Health Services and COVID-19. cherianm15 AT