The Regional Authority of Public Health (RAPH) in Banská Bystrica operates under the Ministry of Health of the Slovak Republic. The authority was created in 1953 and belongs to the network of regional authorities in the country. The position of the authority, the tasks and connections with other regional authorities, local authorities, the state health officers and other state administrators are defined in Public Health Act (before the Human Health Protection Act). The authority has been responsible for the public health policy implementation on the local, district and regional levels predominantly in Central Slovakia. The activities are aimed for the benefit of the public, the goal is to protect and improve the health of the population.
The authority employs about 150 employees – 10 percents are medical doctors, 30 per cent are university-graduated specialists (mainly public health specialists, engineers, and chemists), and the rest are lawyers, registered assistants of hygiene, epidemiology, laboratory workers, nurses, and other personnel.
The main areas of activities are hygiene, epidemiology, microbiology, health education and health statistics.
The important position of the authority is thanks to participation in international projects namely PHARE EC/HEA-18/91 “Study of the Health Impact of Environmental Pollution – Nováky areas” (successfully finished in 1995), WHO program called NIPEH (National Integrated Program on Environment and Health), where the authority has realized studies in polluted areas of Žiar nad Hronom and Ružomberok in comparison to the area of Banská Bystrica. The authority has been involved in the EC study CESAR “Research Project on the Relationship between Air Quality and Health” (CEC Contract No. 94-0472.01) performed in the years 1994 – 1997. The authority has been appointed by the chief hygienist of the Ministry of Health a consulting centre for the WHO CINDI (Countrywide Integrated Noncommunicable Diseases Intervention) Program in the Slovak Republic, the authority has also performed this program since 1991 in the district of Banská Bystrica, which is a demonstration district for this program for the Slovak Republic. The authority has been chosen as a centre for the WHO GEENET (Global Environmental Epidemiology Network in Europe) in the Slovak Republic by WHO in 1994. The authority is the centre for the Inco-Copernicus study “Occupation, environment and lung cancer”.
Most recent international projects are Occupation, environment, lifestyle and lung cancer, cancer of the oral Cavity and larynx, and oesophageal cancer performed in cooperation with I.A.R.C. / WHO, Lyon as multicentric studies. The cancer epidemiology studies are of great interest in our institute and some other studies had been completed e.g. Chromosomal aberrations and cancer; Diesel exhaust exposure and cancer risk (feasibility study), Follow-up study of the cancer epidemiological studies, etc.