• 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.

What Fuels the Policy-Making Process?

Why should a book on health policy need to discuss concepts of power? To answer that question, let us first look at some questions which might concern us in relation to policies:

‘How are decisions made as to which health care activities get priority?’ ‘Who decides which groups will get what share of health care resources?’ ‘Should clinicians be allowed to dictate surgical policy without having to justify their decisions?’

These questions are important and the answers are not simple. Problems arise because each question exemplifies an area where, in all societies, some people make decisions on behalf of others, and where the will of some members of society is exerted over and above that of others. Those making decisions do not ...

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