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What we do

Our main areas of activity are research and assessment of population health status and health determinants, compilation and publication of national health statistics, promotion of health and social well-being, development of health interventions and health promotion programmes, organisation of health and social services and training, advising and influencing health policy makers. We draw on research to guide and focus public health development priorities.

Our work is guided by the objectives and vision set out in the Research and Development, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Strategy 2021–2035 and the Population Health Development Plan 2020–2030.

The development plan of the National Institute for Health Development defines our main organisational objectives for the period 2021–2025 and the activities needed to achieve them.

Investigating and evaluating the health status and health determinants of the population

  • Carrying out population health and health behaviour surveys.
  • Studying morbidity and the factors influencing it.
  • Analysing data on health care utilisation, causes of treatment and health care resources.

Read more about research.

Compilation and publication of national health statistics

  • We compile statistics on health and health care in Estonia - from population health status and health behaviour to the use of health care resources.
  • We manage seven population-based medical registers (the Pregnancy Information System (consisting of the Medical Birth Register and the Medical Miscarriage and Termination of Pregnancy Register), the Cancer Register, the Cancer Screening Register, the Causes of Death Register, the Tuberculosis Register, and the Drugs Register).

Read more about health statistics and registers.

Promoting health and social well-being

Health promotion and prevention

  • Developing and implementing evidence-based interventions to prevent risk behaviour and support health.
  • Activity-based health promotion and disease prevention in pre-schools, schools, workplaces and local authorities.
  • Health marketing, i.e. developing and targeting health messages and interventions to maintain and improve public health.

Development and organisation of health and social services

  • HIV testing and counselling services.
  • Counselling and case management for people living with HIV.
  • Services for drug users: harm reduction, various support and counselling services.
  • Treatment and rehabilitation services for drug users.
  • Early detection and counselling services for alcohol abuse and treatment of alcohol use disorders.
  • Drug prevention services for young people.
  • Cancer screening.
  • Organization of tuberculosis treatment.
  • Personalised medicine services.

Counselling and influencing health policy makers

  • Providing assessments and analyses on health-related issues.
  • Planning programmes and action plans that have an impact on health.
  • Ethical evaluation of human health research.
  • Developing and managing medical terminology and providing advice on terminology.

Further training

  • Provision of training and continuing education in health and social care.

Read more about health and well-being promotion.

Development plan

Our strategic objectives 2021–2025

Healthier people

  • The aim is to improve people's health awareness so that we make healthier choices and reduce risky behaviours. The activities of the National Institute for Health Development will help make the environment around people in Estonia more supportive of health and well-being.

A science-based public health advocate and opinion leader

  • Through international and national public health research and development projects, we can ensure effective input into public health decision and policy making. Our clear messages, both in public communication and policy making, help to raise people’s awareness of better health behaviour.

High quality and up-to-date health data

  • An important prerequisite for guiding healthier behaviour is the use of data to describe the past and present situation. High-quality, up-to-date information enables people to make better choices and policy makers to make better and more effective decisions to promote health and well-being.

A positive employee experience

  • Only people working in a good mental and physical environment can effectively guide other people towards healthier lifestyles. Employee engagement, a development-oriented organisational culture and a good mental and physical environment are the basis for success. The workplace experience is influenced by all our employees.

Development Plan of the National Institute for Health Development for the Period 2021–2025