Interview – Riga City Council – EuroHealthnet member

Riga City Council joined EuroHealthNet in 2014. In 2012, Riga city council approved the concept of “Family friendly Riga 2012-2016”.  The strategic goals of the concept are to improve the life skills for families and youth, to improve the family environment and to coordinate the infrastructure development in the municipality, as well as strengthening family values, a large family prestige in the society and to promote fertility.

By Kristine Mozerte & Nikola Tilgale – Platace

What are the aims of Riga city Council?

Logo-Riga-City-CouncilThe main goal in public health of the Riga city municipality is clearly defined in 2012 by Riga city council when it approved its public health strategy for the period 2012-2021. The aim is to improve the health of the population of Riga and to reduce premature deaths. To achieve this goal, the public health strategy defines the following objectives:

  • To reduce the incidence of non-communicable diseases, including addiction prevention;
  • To improve people’s knowledge about healthy lifestyles ;
  • To promote a healthy and safe city , learning and working environment;
  • To improve health care services for the city of Riga.

To ensure that the objectives defined in the strategy are introduced, Riga’s city council approved the Action Plan for the implementation of the strategy in 2012 -2016 , the Action Plan aims to promote interdisciplinary collaboration on public health  and to  introduce the “health in all policies ” concept in the municipality of Riga. The aim of the local government is to create conditions in which the healthy choice for the population are  easily accessible and convenient

Why did you decide to become a Member of EuroHealthNet?

With the EuroHealthNet partnership, the Riga City Council Welfare Department aims to strengthen its intensive work in public health, foster the knowledge and skills of their citizens’ health promotion and disease prevention.

EuroHealthNet membership will allow providing the Riga City residents with a Europe-wide best practices implemented public health activities, to public health professionals in training and policy implementers knowledge public health to urban development and sustainable competitiveness framework. Involvement in the network will also allow the municipality of Riga to be more involved in European-wide public health projects. In addition, the city of Riga becoming a member of the network will be the only national institutions that are active in the network and as Riga is the biggest city and the capital of the country then it will be ensured that the network will reach the majority of the population of Latvia, giving them the quality of public health services.

What is your vision (ideal scenario) for public health and health promotion in the EU? How can EuroHealthNet contribute to achieving this?

As any EuroHealthnet’s members, Riga city’s goal is to create an environment where healthy choices are simple, cost- effective and affordable for the city of Riga and in the EU.

The public health sector needs to continue its work under the interpretation and implementation by both the public and policy makers about the good health of the population as a contribution to the economic stability and growth in the future. Public health specialists must continue to educate colleagues and promote their understanding of the “health in all policies” principle. It is important to recognize and evaluate any decision-making far-reaching consequences, investment planning and policy documents in other areas to take into account factors such as public health investment.

We need to continue the work by providing opportunities to disadvantaged people and promoting their possibilities to take part in socially active life, to integrate them in our society.

EuroHealthNet – as an internationally recognized public health expert partnership – is able to continue with the ongoing advocacy work for public health in the EU. The projects and studies demonstrate the effectiveness of the public health benefits that serve as an argument in the policy planning process in the member cities.

Eurohealthnet can also step up the dialogue with other sectors working to strengthen the understanding of health and its impact in other areas of the economy.

Kristine Mozerte
+ posts

Kristine is Chief specialist of addiction prevention at Riga City Council. She has a master degree in psychology. She began her career working in The Minnesota 12 step program working as a consultant with dependent and co-dependent persons. From 2008 she was working in Riga Addiction Prevention center as the head of the educational division, later as the Head of the office of addiction prevention consultants. Now Kristine is working in the Riga city council Riga Social service as the Head of the Addiction prevention network. She is also working as a consultant for addiction prevention program preparations, also she is leading further education in addiction prevention and mental health prevention for teachers, social workers and police etc.

Nikola Tilgale – Platace
Riga city council Welfare department | + posts

Nikola is a project coordinator at the Riga city council Welfare department in Latvia