FORMULATING HEALTH STRATEGY AT THE LOCAL LEVEL THROUGH THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE »CITY HEALTH PROFILE« AND THE »CITY HEALTH PLAN«
Summary. The aim of this article was to describe the method that Croatian cities have used in the development of the City Health Profile and City Health Plan. Selected as the most appropriate and applied was the Rapid Appraisal to Assess Community Health Needs. Three sources of information were used in this research: panelist essays reflecting local community views on health, problems and potentials of their city, observations about what is diminishing and what is giving beauty of living in their city and information derived from the existing written data sources. A free-text processing program analyzed essays. During the Consensus conference, based on presented data, participants had selected (Healthy City Project) priority areas. Between 1996 and 2002 The Rapid Appraisal was applied in six Croatian cities: Pula, Metkovi}, Rijeka, Karlovac, Vara‘din and Zagreb. By applying the method of Rapid Appraisal the cities assessed their health and health needs and created the City Health Profile. They selected their (Healthy City Project) priority areas, established the working groups on priority areas, and developed the City (action) Plan for Health. The method proved that communities have the capacity to recognize and deal with their health problems.