• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Making an original contribution to debates on health policy, this accessible and engaging book critically examines the future of health care and public health policy from the perspective of users and citizens. Consumerism, partnerships with patients and user involvement are seen as key to future health care and healthy public policies. The book outlines how individuals as patients, healthy people and research subjects relate to health services and how the public, as citizens, influence health care and public policies at local, national and international levels.

Introduction
Introduction

Patients, of course, have roles assigned to them within the scripts of the modern medical drama. Depending on who is doing the analysis or the accountancy, patients appear as demand, costs and benefits, input or output, voters, clients or consumers of services, bearers of rights or pursuers of litigation, the ‘tib’ and fib’ in bed 15, frozen sperm in the deep freeze, diseased bodies or clinical material, points on a graph or numbers crunched on a software programme.

Roy Porter, Greatest Benefit to Mankind (1997)

History is written by the victors. What we know about English history after 1066 relied on the versions written or sponsored by the French conquerors. Until recently the history of America, Australia and Africa was the history of the white settlers. ...

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