Representatives of 16 countries in central and eastern Europe (CEE) and China met in Prague, Czech Republic, on the occasion of the China–Central and Eastern European Countries Health Ministers Forum on 16–17 June 2015. The Forum was organized to strengthen cooperation in health. During the opening ceremony, participants signed the Prague Declaration, which outlines specific areas of collaboration, which include:
- Strengthening direct contacts between medical institutions in China and CEE countries;
- Promoting experience-sharing on the surveillance, prevention and control of major infectious diseases and the prevention and management of noncommunicable diseases;
- Supporting joint research on health systems;
- Expanding cooperation among health professionals;
- Supporting WHO in global health governance and its ongoing reform.
Discussion focused on the post-2015 sustainable development goals and universal health coverage, including integration of Chinese and western medicine. Reference was made to the WHO Traditional Medicine Strategy 2014–2023.
Speaking at the Forum, Dr Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General, commended the participating countries for their commitment to universal health coverage. She concluded, "Let me again stress the value of cooperation for health and development as a platform for the fruitful exchange of ideas, people, technology, experiences and prospects for a better future." She also underlined the importance of reviewing ways to reduced waste in health systems and thus lower costs.
During the visit, Dr Chan held bilateral meetings with Bohuslav Sobotka, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic; Jan Hamáček, Chairman of the Parliament's Chamber of Deputies; and Svatopluk Němeček, Minister of Health of the Czech Republic.
The Forum also provided an opportunity for the formal opening of the first official traditional Chinese medicine clinic in the Czech Republic, at University Hospital Hradec Králové.