Summary of functions and activities
The University of Tartu was established in 1632 and its Medical Faculty has been the single institution in Estonia, where medical students are trained and research in medicine and related fields is carried out.
Implementation of a new concept in public health in Estonia started in the 1990s that brought about the need for reorganisation of the structure and studies in the Department of Hygiene. This process led to the adoption of Master of Public Health Programme in the Faculty of Medicine in 1998 and supported the development of the Department of Public Health into the centre of public health training and research in Estonia.
The mission of the Institute of Family Medicine and Public Health is to improve health and prevent disease in Estonian populations by acquiring, disseminating and applying public health knowledge.
This mission is realized by following a set of objectives:
1. To train and teach future professionals in public health through Master`s and Doctoral programmes and residency training.
2. To contribute to training of medical professions.
3. To conduct basic and applied research for identification, analysis and intervention of health-related problems among Estonian populations.
4. To achieve a balance between teaching and research.
5. To provide service and consultancy in public health.
6. To encourage multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approach.
7. To develop strong external relationships to public health practitioners and programmes in the community.
8. To strive for international co-operation in training and research.
The Institute is a member of ASPHER (Association of Schools of Public Health in the European Region) since 1998. The teaching and development of the Institute was evaluated by ASPHER Peer-Review team in 1999 and 2004 and the Institute has improved its teaching content and quality assurance system according to the recommendations markedly.
Strong orientation to research is an important feature of the activities and development of the Institute, especially in Estonian context, because of the small number of public health research institutions in the country. The most important partners of the Institute are National Institute for Health Development, Estonian Health Insurance Fund, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health Protection Inspectorate.