Organizational models of school health services in the WHO European Region

Valentina Baltag (Division of Non-communicable Diseases and Health Promotion, WHO Regional Office for Europe, Copenhagen, Denmark)
Miriam Levi (WHO Regional Office for Europe, Copenhagen, Denmark)

Journal of Health Organization and Management

ISSN: 1477-7266

Publication date: 28 October 2013

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to produce a taxonomy of organizational models of school health services (SHS) in the WHO European Region, and to reflect upon the potential of each model to be effective, equitable, responsive and efficient.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors used data from the WHO survey to identify organizational models. To produce a taxonomy of organizational models, three features of SHS organization were analyzed – the presence of health personnel specifically dedicated to school health services provision (school nurse and/or school doctor); the statutory involvement of other health professions in SHS provision; and the proximity of service provision to pupils (school-based or not school-based).

Findings

There are five organizational models of school health services in the Member States of the WHO European Region: dedicated school-based, dedicated community-based, integrated with primary care, mixed school-based, and mixed community-based. Preliminary reflections show that school based models are more likely to produce better outcomes in terms of effectiveness, equity, responsiveness, and efficiency.

Research limitations/implications

The WHO European Region has 53 Member States; the data are therefore incomplete and conclusions are limited to the 37 respondent countries.

Practical implications

Knowledge on performance of various models of service provision may inform decision-makers in the process of reforms.

Originality/value

This is the first attempt to produce a taxonomy of organizational models of school health services based on data from 37 countries, and to investigate the potential of each model to achieve desirable health system objectives.

Keywords

Citation

Baltag, V. and Levi, M. (2013), "Organizational models of school health services in the WHO European Region", Journal of Health Organization and Management, Vol. 27 No. 6, pp. 733-746. https://doi.org/10.1108/JHOM-08-2011-0084

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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