• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

The Health Care Policy Process enables the reader to develop a clear understanding of the scope and objectives of health policy studies, to analyze the extent to which policies can be changed or influenced by those involved at the different stages of the policy process, and to assess both the need and the scope for change. The author considers the relationship between planning and policy, looks at key concepts in analyzing health care issues, and examines some of the debates overshadowing today's health policy agenda.

Why Study Health Policy?
Why study health policy?

As we saw in the introduction, policies give content and consistency to health care. We also noted that the title of the book suggests a positive, activist approach: not just observing but developing – changing – health policy. This choice was deliberate, and it forms part of an ongoing dialogue I have conducted with students of health management, planning and policy, over a number of years.

The dialogue starts from a suspicion held by many health managers that health policy is something which is formed at the highest of levels, and which they themselves cannot influence, but only follow. The not infrequent comment is ‘There's no point in me studying policy. The Minister makes policy. I don't. I follow ...

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