Intended for healthcare professionals

Education And Debate

The Ljubljana Charter on Reforming Health Care

BMJ 1996; 312 doi: (Published 29 June 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:1664


  1. The purpose of this Charter is to articulate a set of principles which are an integral part of current health care systems or which could improve health care systems in all Member States of the World Health Organisation in the European Region. These principles emerge from the experience of countries implementing health care reforms and from the European Health for All targets, especially those related to health care systems.

  2. This Charter addresses health care reforms in the specific context of Europe and is centred on the principle that health care should first and foremost lead to better health and quality of life for people.

  3. The improvements in the health status of the population are an indicator of development in the society. Health services are important, but they are not the only sector influencing peoples' wellbeing: other sectors also have a contribution to make and responsibility to bear in health, and intersectorality must therefore be an essential feature of health care reform.

  4. In cognizance of this, we the Ministers of Health or their representatives from the European Member States of WHO (participants in the Ljubljana Conference) hereby pledge ourselves to promote the following principles and call upon all citizens and urge all governments, institutions and communities to join us in this endeavour. We further request the WHO Regional Office for Europe to take the necessary action to support Member States in giving effect to these principles. …

View Full Text

Log in

Log in through your institution


* For online subscription