Logan, Jean E; Pauling, Carolyn D; Franzen, Debra B
This article describes a phased approach for teaching baccalaureate nursing students critical analysis of health care policy, including refinement of existing policy or the foundation to create new policy. Central to this approach is the application of an innovative framework, the Grand View Critical Analysis Model, which was designed to provide a conceptual base for the authentic learning experience. Students come to know the interconnectedness and the importance of the model, which includes issue selection and four phases: policy focus, colleagueship analysis, evidence-based practice analysis, and policy analysis and development.
Singh, Shenuka; Myburgh, Neil G; Lalloo, Ratilal
This article reports an analysis of oral health promotion in South African health policy. The central aim of this research was to determine the form and coherence of oral health promotion elements within health policies of post-apartheid South Africa. The study set out to test the hypothesis that oral health promotion elements are fully integrated into health policy and programmatic efforts. A conceptual framework was developed to systematically analyse oral health promotion policy and subsequent decision-making across the country at national and provincial levels. The information was drawn from policy documents, protocols and programme plans, complemented by interviews. The results indicate distinct contradictions between the policy formulation process and its impact on health system decision-making. South African health policy was found to be strong on the rhetoric of equity, health promotion, integration and several other features of the Primary Health Care Approach, but showed little evidence of translating this into action. The development and implementation of oral health promotion appears to be dominated by the influence of dental professionals that perpetuate a curative focus on service delivery. There is an urgent need to re-examine the process and content of oral health policy-making in South Africa. The conceptual framework developed for this study could facilitate further research in this area.
Embrett, Mark G; Randall, G E
Despite a dramatic growth in SDH/HE (social determinants of health/health equity) public policy research and demonstrated government interest in promoting equity in health policies, health inequities are actually growing among some populations and there is little evidence that "healthy public policies" are being adopted and implemented. Moreover, these issues are typically failing to even reach governments' policy agendas, which is a critical step towards serious debate and the identification of policy options. This systematic review pursues three main objectives. First, is to identify barriers to SDH/HE issues reaching the government policy agenda. Second, to evaluate the characteristics of peer-reviewed research articles that utilize common policy analysis theories. And third, to determine the extent to which the SDH/HE literature utilizes common policy analysis theories. Our systematic review, conducted in June 2012, identified 6200 SDH/HE related articles in the peer-reviewed literature; however, only seven articles explicitly used a commonly recognized policy analysis theory to inform their analysis. Our analysis revealed that the SDH/HE policy literature appears to be focused on advocacy rather than analysis and that the use of policy analysis theory is extremely limited. Our results also suggest that when such theories are incorporated into an analysis they are often not comprehensively employed. We propose explanations for this non-use and misuse of policy analysis theory, and conclude that researchers may have greater influence in helping to get SDH/HE issues onto government policy agendas if they gain a greater understanding of the policy process and the value of incorporating policy analysis theories into their research. Using a policy analysis lens to help identify why healthy public policies are typically not being adopted is an important step towards moving beyond advocacy to understanding and addressing some of the political barriers to reforms.
Background With limited time to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, progress towards improving women's and children's health needs to be accelerated. With Africa accounting for over half of the world's maternal and child deaths, the African Union (AU) has a critical role in prioritizing related policies and catalysing required investments and action. In this paper, the authors assess the evolution of African Union policies related to women's and children's health, and analyze how these policies are prioritized and framed. Methods The main method used in this policy analysis was a document review of all African Union policies developed from 1963 to 2010, focusing specifically on policies that explicitly mention health. The findings from this document review were discussed with key actors to identify policy implications. Results With over 220 policies in total, peace and security is the most common AU policy topic. Social affairs and other development issues became more prominent in the 1990s. The number of policies that mentioned health rose steadily over the years (with 1 policy mentioning health in 1963 to 7 in 2010). This change was catalysed by factors such as: a favourable shift in AU priorities and systems towards development issues, spurred by the transition from the Organization of African Unity to the African Union; the mandate of the African Commission on Human and People's Rights; health-related advocacy initiatives, such as the Campaign for the Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Mortality in Africa (CARMMA); action and accountability requirements arising from international human rights treaties, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and new health-funding mechanisms, such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Prioritization of women's and children's health issues in AU policies has been framed primarily by human rights, advocacy and accountability considerations, more by economic and health frames looking at investments and
Vázquez, María Luisa; Terraza-Núñez, Rebeca; S-Hernández, Silvia; Vargas, Ingrid; Bosch, Lola; González, Andrea; Pequeño, Sandra; Cantos, Raquel; Martínez, Juan Ignacio; López, Luís Andrés
Although until April 2012, all Spanish citizens regardless of their origin, residence status and work situation were entitled to health care, available evidence suggested inadequate access for immigrants. Following the Aday and Andersen model, we conducted an analysis of policy elements that affect immigrants' access to health care in Spain, based on documentary analysis of national policies and selected regional policies related to migrant health care. Selected documents were (a) laws and plans in force at the time containing migrant health policies and (b) evaluations. The analysis included policy principles, objectives, strategies and evaluations. Results show that the national and regional policies analyzed are based on the principle that health care is a right granted to immigrants by law. These policies include strategies to facilitate access to health care, reducing barriers for entry to the system, for example simplifying requirements and raising awareness, but mostly they address the necessary qualities for services to be able to attend to a more diverse population, such as the adaptation of resources and programs, or improved communication and training. However, limited planning was identified in terms of their implementation, necessary resources and evaluation. In conclusion, the policies address relevant barriers of access for migrants and signal improvements in the health system's responsiveness, but reinforcement is required in order for them to be effectively implemented.
Grundy, John; Hoban, Elizabeth; Allender, Steve; Annear, Peter
One of the challenges for health reform in Asia is the diverse set of socio-economic and political structures, and the related variability in the direction and pace of health systems and policy reform. This paper aims to make comparative observations and analysis of health policy reform in the context of historical change, and considers the implications of these findings for the practice of health policy analysis. We adopt an ecological model for analysis of policy development, whereby health systems are considered as dynamic social constructs shaped by changing political and social conditions. Utilizing historical, social scientific and health literature, timelines of health and history for five countries (Cambodia, Myanmar, Mongolia, North Korea and Timor Leste) are mapped over a 30-50 year period. The case studies compare and contrast key turning points in political and health policy history, and examines the manner in which these turning points sets the scene for the acting out of longer term health policy formation, particularly with regard to the managerial domains of health policy making. Findings illustrate that the direction of health policy reform is shaped by the character of political reform, with countries in the region being at variable stages of transition from monolithic and centralized administrations, towards more complex management arrangements characterized by a diversity of health providers, constituency interest and financing sources. The pace of reform is driven by a country's institutional capability to withstand and manage transition shocks of post conflict rehabilitation and emergence of liberal economic reforms in an altered governance context. These findings demonstrate that health policy analysis needs to be informed by a deeper understanding and questioning of the historical trajectory and political stance that sets the stage for the acting out of health policy formation, in order that health systems function optimally along their own
Shams, Lida; Akbari Sari, Ali; Yazdani, Shahram
Background: Despite the significant role "values" play in decision-making no definition or attributes regarding the concept have been provided in health policy-making. This study aimed to clarify the defining attributes of a concept of value and its irrelevant structures in health policy-making. We anticipate our findings will help reduce the semantic ambiguities associated with the use of "values" and other concepts such as principles, criteria, attitudes, and beliefs. Methods: An extensive search of literature was carried out using electronic data base and library. The overall search strategy yielded about 1540 articles and 450 additional records. Based on traditional qualitative research, studies were purposefully selected and the coding of articles continued until data saturation was reached. Accordingly, 31 articles, 2 books, and 5 other documents were selected for the review. We applied Walker and Avant’s method of concept analysis in studying the phenomenon. Definitions, applications, attributes, antecedents, and consequences of the concept of "value in health policy-making" were extracted. We also identified similarities and differences that exist between and within them. Results: We identified eight major attributes of "value in health policy-making": ideological origin, affect one’s choices, more resistant to change over time, source of motivation, ability to sacrifice one’s interest, goal-oriented nature for community, trans-situational and subjectivity. Other features pinpointed include alternatives, antecedents, and consequences. Alternative, antecedents and consequences case may have more or fewer attributes or may lack one of these attributes and at the same time have other distinctive ones. Conclusion: Despite the use of the value framework, ambiguities still persist in providing definition of the concept value in health policy-making. Understanding the concept of value in health policy-making may provide extra theoretical support to decision
Dai, Guobin; Deng, Fang; Ramaprasad, Arkalgud; Syn, Thant
The health care system in China is facing a multitude of challenges owing to the changing demographics of the country, the evolving economics of health care, and the emerging epidemiology of health as well as diseases. China’s many national health care policies are documented in Chinese text documents. It is necessary to map the policies synoptically, systemically, and systematically to discover their emphases and biases, assess them, and modify them in the future. Using a logically constructed ontology of health care policies based on the common bodies of knowledge as a lens, we map the current policies to reveal their ‘bright’, ‘light’, and ‘blind/blank’ spots. The ontological map will help (a) develop a roadmap for future health care policies in China, and (b) compare and contrast China’s health care policies with other countries’. PMID:28210417
Evans-Agnew, Robin A; Johnson, Susan; Liu, Fuqin; Boutain, Doris M
Critical discourse analysis (CDA) is a promising methodology for policy research in nursing. As a critical theoretical methodology, researchers use CDA to analyze social practices and language use in policies to examine whether such policies may promote or impede social transformation. Despite the widespread use of CDA in other disciplines such as education and sociology, nursing policy research employing CDA methodology is sparse. To advance CDA use in nursing science, it is important to outline the overall research strategies and describe the steps of CDA in policy research. This article describes, using exemplar case studies, how nursing and health policy researchers can employ CDA as a methodology. Three case studies are provided to discuss the application of CDA research methodologies in nursing policy research: (a) implementation of preconception care policies in the Zhejiang province of China, (b) formation and enactment of statewide asthma policy in Washington state of the United States, and (c) organizational implementation of employee antibullying policies in hospital systems in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Each exemplar details how CDA guided the examination of policy within specific contexts and social practices. The variations of the CDA approaches in the three exemplars demonstrated the flexibilities and potentials for conducting policy research grounded in CDA. CDA provides novel insights for nurse researchers examining health policy formation, enactment, and implementation.
Flentje, H. Edward; Penner, Maurice J.
A case history of the development of a new Kansas state policy on juvenile delinquency illustrates the use of policy impact analysis and suggests four principles to follow in prescriptive policy analysis. A Kansas governor's task force on juvenile delinquency found evidence linking delinquency to undetected health problems (in sight, hearing,…
Daire, J; Khalil, D
The question of why most health policies do not achieve their intended results continues to receive a considerable attention in the literature. This is in the light of the recognized gap between policy as intent and policy as practice, which calls for substantial research work to understand the factors that improve policy implementation. Although there is substantial work that explains the reasons why policies achieve or fail to achieve their intended outcomes, there are limited case studies that illustrate how to analyze policies from the methodological perspective. In this article, we report and discuss how a mixed qualitative research method was applied for analyzing maternal and child health policies in Malawi. For the purposes of this article, we do not report research findings; instead we focus our dicussion on the methodology of the study and draw lessons for policy analysis research work. We base our disusssion on our experiences from a study in which we analyzed maternal and child health policies in Malawi over the period from 1964 to 2008. Noting the multifaceted nature of maternal and child health policies, we adopted a mixed qualitative research method, whereby a number of data collection methods were employed. This approach allowed for the capturing of different perspectives of maternal and child health policies in Malawi and for strengthening of the weaknesses of each method, especially in terms of data validity. This research suggested that the multidimensional nature of maternal and child health policies, like other health policies, calls for a combination of research designs as well as a variety of methods of data collection and analysis. In addition, we suggest that, as an emerging research field, health policy analysis will benefit more from case study designs because they provide rich experiences in the actual policy context.
Background Amidst concerns regarding the capacity of the public health system to respond rapidly and appropriately to threats such as pandemics and terrorism, along with changing population health needs, governments have focused on strengthening public health systems. A key factor in a robust public health system is its workforce. As part of a nationally funded study of public health renewal in Canada, a policy analysis was conducted to compare public health human resources-relevant documents in two Canadian provinces, British Columbia (BC) and Ontario (ON), as they each implement public health renewal activities. Methods A content analysis of policy and planning documents from government and public health-related organizations was conducted by a research team comprised of academics and government decision-makers. Documents published between 2003 and 2011 were accessed (BC = 27; ON = 20); documents were either publicly available or internal to government and excerpted with permission. Documentary texts were deductively coded using a coding template developed by the researchers based on key health human resources concepts derived from two national policy documents. Results Documents in both provinces highlighted the importance of public health human resources planning and policies; this was particularly evident in early post-SARS documents. Key thematic areas of public health human resources identified were: education, training, and competencies; capacity; supply; intersectoral collaboration; leadership; public health planning context; and priority populations. Policy documents in both provinces discussed the importance of an educated, competent public health workforce with the appropriate skills and competencies for the effective and efficient delivery of public health services. Conclusion This policy analysis identified progressive work on public health human resources policy and planning with early documents providing an inventory of issues to be
Salas-Zapata, Walter; Ríos-Osorio, Leonardo; Gómez-Arias, Rubén Darío; Alvarez-Del Castillo, Xavier
Research on health policies is considered essential to ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of public policies. Analyses of public health policies have various objectives, including helping to solve the problems for which the policy was originated. That objective faces two large obstacles: (1) the ambiguity and heterogeneity of the models applied for the analysis of public policies, conditions that hinder the selection of analytical methods and the assessment of the scope of the objective; and (2) the traditional methodological approaches that limit the capacity of analyses to help solve the problems detected. This paper reviews the epistemology of the predominant models of public health policy analysis in order to assess their scope and limitations. It concludes that the development of new conceptual approaches could improve the quality of research on public policies and their ability to favorably impact decisions.
Baptista, Tatiana Wargas de Faria
Ministry of Health rulings and provisions are important policy regulation tools that aim to orient the enforcement of health-related laws passed by the Legislative Branch, under the terms of the 1988 Federal Constitution. Such provisions have played a major role in the health sector, due not only to the number of documents submitted since the late 1990s, but mainly because of this tool's persuasive power in defining health sector policy. The current article aims to foster reflection on both national health policy management in Brazil and the main obstacles to the implementation of health reform operational aspects. The article classified and analyzed Ministry of Health rulings issued from 1990 to 2002. The study highlights the Ministry's centralizing approach and the use of financial and political persuasion tools that subject State and Municipal governments to the system's rules without creating a negotiated and sustained health policy that the country's institutional realities ratify and support.
Background Public health strategies that focus on legislative and policy change involving chronic disease risk factors such as unhealthy diet and physical inactivity have the potential to prevent chronic diseases and improve quality of life as a whole. However, many public health policies introduced as part of public health reform have not yet been analyzed, such as in British Columbia and Ontario. The purpose of this paper is to present the results of a descriptive, comparative analysis of public health policies related to the Healthy Living Core Program in British Columbia and Chronic Disease Prevention Standard in Ontario that are intended to prevent a range of chronic diseases by promoting healthy eating and physical activity, among other things. Methods Policy documents were found through Internet search engines and Ministry websites, at the guidance of policy experts. These included government documents as well as documents from non-governmental organizations that were implementing policies and programs at a provincial level. Documents (n = 31) were then analysed using thematic content analysis to classify, describe and compare policies in a systematic fashion, using the software NVivo. Results Three main categories emerged from the analysis of documents: 1) goals for chronic disease prevention in British Columbia and Ontario, 2) components of chronic disease prevention policies, and 3) expected outputs of chronic disease prevention interventions. Although there were many similarities between the two provinces, they differed somewhat in terms of their approach to issues such as evidence, equity, and policy components. Some expected outputs were adoption of healthy behaviours, use of information, healthy environments and increased public awareness. Conclusions The two provincial policies present different approaches to support the implementation of related programs. Differences may be related to contextual factors such as program delivery structures and
Tesler, Riki; Harel-Fisch, Yossi; Baron-Epel, Orna
Background: Health promotion policies targeting risk-taking behaviors are being implemented across schools in Israel. This study identified the most effective components of these policies influencing cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption among adolescents. Methods: Logistic hierarchical linear model (HLM) analysis of data for 5279 students in…
Grit, Kor; den Otter, Joost J; Spreij, Anneke
The presence of undocumented migrants is increasing in many Western countries despite wide-ranging attempts by governments to increase border security. Measures taken to control the influx of immigrants include policies that restrict access to publicly funded health care for undocumented migrants. These restrictions to health care access are controversial, and evidence suggests they do not always have the intended effect. This study provides a comparative analysis of institutional, actor-related, and contextual factors that have influenced health care policy development on undocumented migrants in England and the Netherlands. For undocumented migrants, England restricts its access to care at the point of service, while the Netherlands restricts through the payment system for services. The study includes an analysis of policy papers and semistructured, in-depth interviews with various actors in both countries. Findings confirm the influence of such contextual factors as immigration considerations and cost concerns on health care policy making in this area. However, these factors cannot explain the differences between the two countries. Previously enacted policies, especially the organization of the health care system, affected the kind of restrictions for undocumented migrants. Concerns about the side effects of generous treatment of undocumented migrants on other groups played a substantial role in formulating restrictive policies in both countries. Evidently, policy development and implementation is critically affected by institutional rules, which govern the degree of influence that doctors and professional medical associations have on the policy process.
Parmet, Wendy E
This essay argues that it matters for the fate of health policies challenged in court whether courts consider health merely as a policy goal that must be subordinate to law, or as a legal norm warranting legal weight and consideration. Applying population-based legal analysis, this article demonstrates that courts have traditionally treated health as a legal norm. However, this norm appears to have weakened in recent years, a trend evident in the Supreme Court's first two decisions concerning the Affordable Care Act, NFIB v. Sebelius and Burwell v. Hobby Lobby However, in its more recent Affordable Care Act decision, King v. Burwell, the health legal norm is once again evident. Whether the Court will continue to treat health as a legal norm will prove critical to the deference and weight it grants health policies in the future.
Ross-Degnan, D; Soumerai, S B; Avorn, J; Bohn, R L; Bright, R; Aledort, L M
This analysis describes the development of technology for home self-infusion of factor VII in the treatment of hemophilia and its clinical, economic, and social consequences, and uses the case study of such home care treatment to illustrate the potentials and pitfalls of formal economic analyses of programs to treat chronically ill children. A comprehensive review of all original data on hemophilia programs, their related costs, and outcomes, conducted from 1966 through 1993, examined the economic outcomes for two hypothetical cohorts, one aged 0-4 years and the other aged 30-34 years. Including the measurement of treatment effects on the productivity of parental caregivers substantially increases the benefit-cost relationship of an intervention directed at chronically ill children. Increased economic productivity and societal return resulting from such a program for young adults exceeds those for a cohort of children, primarily due to assumptions related to discounting. However, estimation of quality-adjusted life years favors the younger age cohort, since children survive for a longer period of time and with each year survived comes a higher quality of life. Unlike simpler instances in which economic benefits can be shown to outweigh resource costs, policy decisions concerning services for chronically ill children raise an additional set of complex analytic issues. Inclusion of the benefits in productivity experienced by family caregivers provides an important added dimension to such analyses. The development of cost-benefit or cost-effectiveness analyses of these programs illustrates the importance of careful measurement of outcomes and explicit statements of underlying assumptions. Such an analysis of home care for children with hemophilia therefore demonstrates both the strengths and the limitations of this approach.
Ziebland, Sue; Hunt, Kate
Qualitative research is recognized as an important method for including patients' voices and experiences in health services research and policy-making, yet the considerable potential to analyse existing qualitative data to inform health policy and practice has been little realized. This failure may partly be explained by: a lack of awareness amongst health policy makers of the increasing wealth of qualitative data available; and around 15 years of internal debates among qualitative researchers on the strengths, limitations and validity of re-use of qualitative data. Whilst acknowledging the challenges of qualitative secondary data analysis, we argue that there is a growing imperative to be pragmatic and to undertake analysis of existing qualitative data collections where they have the potential to contribute to health policy formulation. Time pressures are inherent in the policy-making process and in many circumstances it is not possible to seek funding, conduct and analyse new qualitative studies of patients' experiences in time to inform a specific policy. The danger then is that the patient voice, and the experiences of relatives and carers, is either excluded or included in a way that is easily dismissed as 'unrepresentative'. We argue that secondary analysis of qualitative data collections may sometimes be an effective means to enable patient experiences to inform policy decision-making.
Morciano, Cristina; Basevi, Vittorio; Faralli, Carla; Hilton Boon, Michele; Tonon, Sabina; Taruscio, Domenica
Objective To assess whether organisations that develop health care guidelines have conflict of interest (COI) policies and to review the content of the available COI policies. Methods Survey and content analysis of COI policies available in English, French, Spanish, and Italian conducted between September 2014 and June 2015. A 24-item data abstraction instrument was created on the basis of guideline development standards. Results The survey identified 29 organisations from 19 countries that met the inclusion criteria. From these organisations, 19 policies were eligible for inclusion in the content analysis. Over one-third of the policies (7/19, 37%) did not report or did not clearly report whether disclosure was a prerequisite for membership of the guideline panel. Strategies for the prevention of COI such as divestment were mentioned by only two organisations. Only 21% of policies (4/19) used criteria to determine whether an interest constitutes a COI and to assess the severity of the risk imposed. Conclusions The finding that some organisations, in contradiction of widely available standards, still do not have COI policies publicly available is concerning. Also troubling were the findings that some policies did not clearly report critical steps in obtaining, managing and communicating disclosure of relationships of interest. This in addition to the variability encountered in content and accessibility of COI policies may cause confusion and distrust among guideline users. It is in the interest of guideline users and developers to design an agreed-upon, comprehensive, clear, and accessible COI policy. PMID:27846255
Lindley, Lisa C
Within the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 or health care reform, is a relatively small provision about concurrent curative care that significantly affects terminally ill children. Effective on March 23, 2010, terminally ill children, who are enrolled in a Medicaid or state Children's Health Insurance Plans (CHIP) hospice benefit, may concurrently receive curative care related to their terminal health condition. The purpose of this article was to conduct a policy analysis of the concurrent curative care legislation by examining the intended goals of the policy to improve access to care and enhance quality of end of life care for terminally ill children. In addition, the policy analysis explored the political feasibility of implementing concurrent curative care at the state-level. Based on this policy analysis, the federal policy of concurrent curative care for children would generally achieve its intended goals. However, important policy omissions focus attention on the need for further federal end of life care legislation for children. These findings have implications nurses.
Lawlor, E F
Health reform initiatives in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) assume the existence of two kinds of infrastructure: 1) health care resources that can be mobilized to provide services in a market context and 2) intellectual resources that can be mobilized to plan, design, analyze, implement and evaluate new policy. Considerable attention has been devoted to the requirements for management in health sector reform in the CEE (JHAE, Fall 1994). Relatively little attention has been paid to the intellectual and workforce requirements for policy analysis and leadership in the health sector as well as related policy areas (Berman 1995). This paper begins with an overview of the broad contours and expectations for health reform in the CEE region. It then asks what analytic and public management capital is necessary to guide these policy changes within countries. A specific example of the need for analytic and management capacity is drawn out of the recent Romanian proposal to create health insurance houses (plans) in the 40 judets (districts) across the country. Finally, the paper examines the obstacles and issues involved in expanding the role and number of policy analysts in the CEE.
Jackson, Richard J.; Minjares, Ray; Naumoff, Kyra S.; Shrimali, Bina Patel; Martin, Lisa K.
The Farm Bill is meant to supplement and secure farm incomes, ensure a stable food supply, and support the American farm economy. Over time, however, it has evolved into a system that creates substantial health impacts, both directly and indirectly. By generating more profit for food producers and less for family farmers; by effectively subsidizing the production of lower-cost fats, sugars, and oils that intensify the health-destroying obesity epidemic; by amplifying environmentally destructive agricultural practices that impact air, water, and other resources, the Farm Bill influences the health of Americans more than is immediately apparent. In this article, we outline three major public health issues influenced by American farm policy. These are (1) rising obesity; (2) food safety; and (3) environmental health impacts, especially exposure to toxic substances and pesticides. PMID:23144677
We examine the scope of inquiry into the measurement and assessment of the state public health policy environment. We argue that there are gains to be made by looking systematically at policies both within and across health domains. We draw from the public health and public policy literature to develop the concepts of interdomain and intradomain policy comprehensiveness and illustrate how these concepts can be used to enhance surveillance of the current public health policy environment, improve understanding of the adoption of new policies, and enhance evaluations of the impact of such policies on health outcomes. PMID:22813417
Walton, Jo Ann; Lazzaro-Salazar, Mariana
It is widely recognized that chronic illnesses pose significant challenges for health care systems around the world. In response, most governments have set health policies in order to manage (or better, reduce) demand and improve the health of their populations. A discourse analysis of four policy documents that shape these strategies in New Zealand reveals that the policies construct the chronically ill as "others," that is, as deviant or different from the "normal" population. The discourse further serves to blame the chronically ill both for being sick, and for placing a serious financial burden on society. We identify problems that arise from this discourse. They relate to (a) the fact that chronic illnesses are so prevalent, (b) the fallacy of categorizing all chronic illnesses as the same,
Durbin, Anna; Durbin, Janet; Hensel, Jennifer M; Deber, Raisa
Integrating care for physical health and behavioural health (mental health and addictions) has been a longstanding challenge, although research supports the clinical and cost effectiveness of integrated care for many clients. In one such model, primary care (PC) physicians work with specialist physicians and non-physician providers (NPPs) to provide mental health and addictions care in PC settings. This Ontario, Canada-focused policy analysis draws on research evidence to examine potential barriers and enablers to this model of integrated care, focusing on mental health. Funding challenges pertain to incentivizing PC physicians to select patients with mental illness, include NPPs on the treatment team, and collaborate with specialist providers. Legal/regulatory challenges pertain to NPP scopes of practice for prescribing and counselling. Integrated care also requires revising the role of the physician and distribution of functions among the team. Policy support to integrate addictions treatment in PC may face similar challenges but requires further exploration.
Breton, Eric; Richard, Lucie; Gagnon, France; Jacques, Marie; Bergeron, Pierre
In this paper we illustrate how policy analysis models can deepen our understanding of the challenges facing health promoters advocating for policy change. Specifically we describe the factors underpinning the adoption of Québec's Tobacco Act (1998) and the role played by actors from governmental public health agencies (GPHAs). Data were collected through interviews (n=39), newspapers articles (n=569) and documents (n > 200) from GPHAs, NGOs, the Québec National Assembly, and opponents to the legislative measures. Data collection and analysis were based on Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith's Advocacy Coalition Framework (1999) and Lemieux's theorization of coalition structuring (1998). We explain the adoption of the Act by: (1) the broad recognition within the policy elite of the main parameters of tobacco use (i.e. lethality, addictive properties, and legitimacy of governmental intervention), (2) the impacts of a series of events (e.g. cigarette contraband crisis) that enabled tobacco control advocates to influence public debates, and the governmental agenda, (3) the critical contribution of a coalition of GPHAs pooling resources to address both the sanitary and economic aspects of the legislation while countering the opposition's strategy, and (4) the failure of the opponents to present an unified voice on the definition of the tobacco policy. This study illustrates the merits of applying a policy-change model to grasp the complexity of the process. Our findings call for the development of permanent policy analysis capabilities within public health agencies and for a broader scrutiny of the non-health-related dimensions of policy debates.
Miranda, J Jaime; Yamin, Alicia Ely
Health professionals view medical ethics as a discipline that provides the basis for more adequate patient care. In recent years the concepts of quality of care and human rights - with their attending discourses - have joined the concept of medical ethics among the paradigms to consider in care for humans both at the individual and health policy levels. The current study seeks to analyze such paradigms, based on a case study of sexual and reproductive health policies in Peru in the last 10 years.
Callaghan, Jane Em; Fellin, Lisa Chiara; Warner-Gale, Fiona
Policy on Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) in England has undergone radical changes in the last 15 years, with far reaching implications for funding models, access to services and service delivery. Using corpus analysis and critical discourse analysis, we explore how childhood, mental health and CAMHS are constituted in 15 policy documents, 9 pre-2010 and 6 post-2010. We trace how these constructions have changed over time and consider the practice implications of these changes. We identify how children's distress is individualised, through medicalising discourses and shifting understandings of the relationship between socio-economic context and mental health. This is evidenced in a shift from seeing children's mental health challenges as produced by social and economic inequities to a view that children's mental health must be addressed early to prevent future socio-economic burden. We consider the implications of CAMHS policies for the relationship between children, families, mental health services and the state. The article concludes by exploring how concepts of 'parity of esteem' and 'stigma reduction' may inadvertently exacerbate the individualisation of children's mental health.
Harris, Patrick; Friel, Sharon; Wilson, Andrew
Introduction Realist methods are increasingly being used to investigate complex public health problems. Despite the extensive evidence base clarifying the built environment as a determinant of health, there is limited knowledge about how and why land-use planning systems take on health concerns. Further, the body of research related to the wider determinants of health suffers from not using political science knowledge to understand how to influence health policy development and systems. This 4-year funded programme of research investigates how the land-use planning system in New South Wales, Australia, incorporates health and health equity at multiple levels. Methods and analysis The programme uses multiple qualitative methods to develop up to 15 case studies of different activities of the New South Wales land-use planning system. Comparison cases from other jurisdictions will be included where possible and useful. Data collection includes publicly available documentation and purposively sampled stakeholder interviews and focus groups of up to 100 participants across the cases. The units of analysis in each case are institutional structures (rules and mandates constraining and enabling actors), actors (the stakeholders, organisations and networks involved, including health-focused agencies), and ideas (policy content, information, and framing). Data analysis will focus on and develop propositions concerning the mechanisms and conditions within and across each case leading to inclusion or non-inclusion of health. Data will be refined using additional political science and sociological theory. Qualitative comparative analysis will compare cases to develop policy-relevant propositions about the necessary and sufficient conditions needed to include health issues. Ethics and dissemination Ethics has been approved by Sydney University Human Research Ethics Committee (2014/802 and 2015/178). Given the nature of this research we will incorporate stakeholders, often as
Bartee, Edwin M.; Kelly, Jacquelyn M.
Critical reasons for frustration and circularity in the formulation and implementation of mental health policy are analyzed. The primary reason proposed is the lack of equal, systematic and structurally-reinforced participation of mental health services consumers and their communities in the planning and implementing of policy and programs. This…
Murray, C. J.; Kreuser, J.; Whang, W.
The role of health systems infrastructure in studies of cost-effectiveness analysis and health resource allocation is discussed, and previous health sector cost-effectiveness analyses are cited. Two substantial difficulties concerning the nature of health system costs and the policy choices are presented. First, the issue of health system infrastructure can be addressed by use of computer models such as the Health Resource Allocation Model (HRAM) developed at Harvard, which integrates cost-effectiveness and burden of disease data. It was found that a model which allows for expansion in health infrastructure yields nearly 40% more total DALYs for a hypothetical sub-Saharan African country than a model which neglects infrastructure expansion. Widespread use of cost-effectiveness databases for resource allocations in the health sector will require the cost-effectiveness analyses shift from reporting costs to reporting production functions. Second, three distinct policy questions can be treated using these tools, each necessitating its own inputs and constraints: allocations when given a fixed budget and health infrastructure, or when given resources for marginal expansion, or when given a politically constrained situation of expanding resources. Confusion concerning which question is being addressed must be avoided through development of a consistent and rigorous approach to using cost-effectiveness data for informing resource allocations. PMID:7923545
Introduction Promoting health equity is a key goal of many public health systems. However, little is known about how equity is conceptualized in such systems, particularly as standards of public health practice are established. As part of a larger study examining the renewal of public health in two Canadian provinces, Ontario and British Columbia (BC), we undertook an analysis of relevant public health documents related to equity. The aim of this paper is to discuss how equity is considered within documents that outline standards for public health. Methods A research team consisting of policymakers and academics identified key documents related to the public health renewal process in each province. The documents were analyzed using constant comparative analysis to identify key themes related to the conceptualization and integration of health equity as part of public health renewal in Ontario and BC. Documents were coded inductively with higher levels of abstraction achieved through multiple readings. Sets of questions were developed to guide the analysis throughout the process. Results In both sets of provincial documents health inequities were defined in a similar fashion, as the consequence of unfair or unjust structural conditions. Reducing health inequities was an explicit goal of the public health renewal process. In Ontario, addressing “priority populations” was used as a proxy term for health equity and the focus was on existing programs. In BC, the incorporation of an equity lens enhanced the identification of health inequities, with a particular emphasis on the social determinants of health. In both, priority was given to reducing barriers to public health services and to forming partnerships with other sectors to reduce health inequities. Limits to the accountability of public health to reduce health inequities were identified in both provinces. Conclusion This study contributes to understanding how health equity is conceptualized and incorporated
Dandona, Lalit; Raban, Magdalena Z; Dandona, Rakhi
BACKGROUND. Analysis of the scope and quality of evaluations of health system/policy interventions done in India is not available. Such analysis can help in conducting more useful evaluations. METHODS. We accessed evaluation reports of health system/ policy interventions aimed at improving population health in India, reported during 2001-08, which were available in the public domain through extensive internet searches. We developed and used a classification system for the type of evaluation, commissioning agency, health system/policy area covered and methodology used, and a method for assessing the quality of evaluation reports. RESULTS. Of the 219 total evaluation reports in the public domain, 6% assessed needs, 22% process, 42% outcome and 30% impact. Seventy-six per cent evaluations were commissioned by international agencies. Among health system components, services were the focus of evaluation in 74.9% of reports, with human resources, financing, drugs/products, information system and governance having little representation. Only 21% of evaluation reports were rated as good quality. Among evaluations based mainly on health system data, 42% were poor quality compared with 20% that were based on population data. Seventy-two per cent of the outcome/impact evaluations presented only basic tabulations and just 12% attempted multivariate analysis. Eighty-two per cent of the outcome/impact evaluations had no controls, among which 42% were poor quality versus 17% poor quality among outcome/impact evaluations with controls. Among the 54% evaluations in which the intervention implementer was involved, only 1% reported negative conclusion about the intervention compared with 37% among evaluations in which the implementer was not involved. CONCLUSION. This analysis of health system/policy intervention evaluation reports from India identifies specific areas that need improvement. We recommend that Indian agencies should commission more evaluations as international agencies
Parkhurst, Justin O.; Vulimiri, Madhulika
Cervical cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths for women globally, with an estimated 88% of deaths occurring in the developing world. Available technologies have dramatically reduced mortality in high-income settings, yet cervical cancer receives considerably little attention on the global health policy landscape. The authors applied four policy-analysis frameworks to literature on global cervical cancer to explore the question of why cervical cancer may not be receiving the international attention it may otherwise warrant. Each framework explores the process of agenda setting and discerns factors that either facilitate or hinder policy change in cases where there is both a clear problem and a potential effective solution. In combination, these frameworks highlight a number of crucial elements that may be needed to raise the profile of cervical cancer on global health agendas, including improving local (national or sub-national) information on the condition; increasing mobilisation of affected civil society groups; framing cervical cancer debates in ways that build upon its classification as a non-communicable disease (NCD) and an issue of women's rights; linking cervical cancer screening to well-funded services such as those for HIV treatment in some countries; and identifying key global policy windows of opportunity to promote the cervical cancer agenda, including emerging NCD global health discussions and post-2015 reviews of the Millennium Development Goals. PMID:24236409
Keim-Malpass, Jessica; Letzkus, Lisa C; Kennedy, Christine
Children with special health care needs (CSHCN) represent populations with chronic health conditions that are often high utilizers of health care. Limited health literacy has emerged as a key indicator of adverse health outcomes, and CSHCN from limited health literacy families are particularly vulnerable. The purpose of this policy analysis is to outline key provisions in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that incorporate health literacy approaches for implementation and have implications for CSHCN in the USA. Several key provisions are incorporated in the ACA that involve health literacy and have implications for CSHCN. These include: expansion of public insurance coverage and simplifying the enrollment process, provisions assuring equity in health care and communication among all populations, improving access to patient-centered medical homes that can offer care coordination, ensuring enhanced medication safety by changing liquid medication labeling requirements, and provisions to train health care providers on literacy issues. More research is needed to determine how provisions pertaining to health literacy in the ACA are implemented in various states. PMID:25897270
MacLachlan, Malcolm; Amin, Mutamad; Mannan, Hasheem; El Tayeb, Shahla; Bedri, Nafisa; Swartz, Leslie; Munthali, Alister; Van Rooy, Gert; McVeigh, Joanne
While many health services strive to be equitable, accessible and inclusive, peoples' right to health often goes unrealized, particularly among vulnerable groups. The extent to which health policies explicitly seek to achieve such goals sets the policy context in which services are delivered and evaluated. An analytical framework was developed--EquiFrame--to evaluate 1) the extent to which 21 Core Concepts of human rights were addressed in policy documents, and 2) coverage of 12 Vulnerable Groups who might benefit from such policies. Using this framework, analysis of 51 policies across Malawi, Namibia, South Africa and Sudan, confirmed the relevance of all Core Concepts and Vulnerable Groups. Further, our analysis highlighted some very strong policies, serious shortcomings in others as well as country-specific patterns. If social inclusion and human rights do not underpin policy formation, it is unlikely they will be inculcated in service delivery. EquiFrame facilitates policy analysis and benchmarking, and provides a means for evaluating policy revision and development.
Introduction A national health account (NHA) provides a systematic approach to mapping the flow of health sector funds within a specified health system over a defined time period. This article attempts to present a profile of health system financing in Dubai, United Arab Emirates using data from NHAs, and to compare the functional structures of financing schemes in Dubai with schemes in Qatar and selected member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Methods The author analyzed secondary data published in NHAs of Dubai and Qatar and data collected by the OECD countries and publicly available from Eurostat (Statistical Office of the European Union) of 25 OECD countries for comparative analysis. All health financing indicators used were as defined in the international System of Health Accounts (SHA). Results In Dubai, spending on inpatient care was the highest-costing component, with 30% of current health expenditures (CHE). Spending on outpatient care was the second highest-costing component and accounted for about 23% of the CHE. Household spending accounted for about 22% of CHE (equivalent to US$187 per capita), compared to an average of 20% of CHE of OECD countries. Dubai spent 0.02% of CHE on long-term care, compared to an average of 11% of CHE of OECD countries. Dubai spent about 6% of CHE on prevention and public health services, compared to an average of 3.2% of CHE of OECD countries. Conclusion The findings point to potential opportunities for growth and improvement in several health policy issues in Dubai, including increasing focus and funding of preventive services; shifting from inpatient care to day surgery, outpatient, and home-based services and strengthening long-term care; and introducing cost-containment measures for pharmaceuticals. More investment in the translation of NHA data into policy is suggested for future researchers. PMID:25750545
Been, Jasper V; Mackenbach, Johan P; Millett, Christopher; Basu, Sanjay; Sheikh, Aziz
Introduction Children experience considerable morbidity and mortality due to tobacco smoke exposure. Tobacco control policies may benefit child health by reducing this exposure. We aim to comprehensively assess the effects of the range of tobacco control policies advocated by the WHO on perinatal and child health. Methods and analysis We will systematically search 19 electronic literature databases (from inception) for published studies, and the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform for unpublished studies. Additional work will be identified via handsearching references and citations, and through consulting an international panel of experts. No language restrictions will apply. Following Cochrane Effective Practice and Organisation of Care (EPOC) guidelines, randomised and clinical controlled trials, controlled before-and-after studies, and interrupted time series designs, are eligible. Studies of interest will assess the impact of any of the WHO-advocated tobacco control policies contained in the MPOWER acronym (except ‘Monitoring tobacco use’) on at least one outcome of interest among children aged 0–12 years. The primary outcomes are: perinatal mortality, preterm birth, asthma exacerbations requiring hospital attendance and respiratory infections requiring hospital attendance. Data will be extracted using customised forms and authors will be contacted to obtain missing information. Risk of bias will be assessed using EPOC criteria. Findings will be reported in narrative and tabular form. Between-study heterogeneity will be assessed clinically and statistically using I2. If appropriate and possible, random-effects meta-analysis will be conducted for each unique combination of intervention and outcome. Subgroup analyses will be performed to assess the influence of the comprehensiveness of each policy, and to explore the impact of each policy according to socioeconomic status. Ethics and dissemination No ethical assessment is necessary as we
Fischer, Sara Elisa; Strandberg-Larsen, Martin
Background: Global health policy is created largely through a collaborative process between development agencies and aid-recipient governments, yet it remains unclear whether governments retain ownership over the creation of policy in their own countries. An assessment of the power structure in this relationship and its influence over agenda-setting is thus the first step towards understanding where progress is still needed in policy-making for development. Methods: This study employed qualitative policy analysis methodology to examine how health-related policy agendas are adopted in low-income countries, using Tanzania as a case study. Semi-structured, in-depth, key informant interviews with 11 policy-makers were conducted on perspectives of the agenda-setting process and its actors. Kingdon’s stream theory was chosen as the lens through which to interpret the data analysis. Results: This study demonstrates that while stakeholders each have ways of influencing the process, the power to do so can be assessed based on three major factors: financial incentives, technical expertise, and influential position. Since donors often have two or all of these elements simultaneously a natural power imbalance ensues, whereby donor interests tend to prevail over recipient government limitations in prioritization of agendas. One way to mediate these imbalances seems to be the initiation of meaningful policy dialogue. Conclusion: In Tanzania, the agenda-setting process operates within a complex network of factors that interact until a "policy window" opens and a decision is made. Power in this process often lies not with the Tanzanian government but with the donors, and the contrast between latent presence and deliberate use of this power seems to be based on the donor ideology behind giving aid (defined here by funding modality). Donors who used pooled funding (PF) modalities were less likely to exploit their inherent power, whereas those who preferred to maintain maximum
Gilbert, Jennifer A; Meyers, Lauren Ancel; Galvani, Alison P; Townsend, Jeffrey P
Mathematical modeling of disease transmission has provided quantitative predictions for health policy, facilitating the evaluation of epidemiological outcomes and the cost-effectiveness of interventions. However, typical sensitivity analyses of deterministic dynamic infectious disease models focus on model architecture and the relative importance of parameters but neglect parameter uncertainty when reporting model predictions. Consequently, model results that identify point estimates of intervention levels necessary to terminate transmission yield limited insight into the probability of success. We apply probabilistic uncertainty analysis to a dynamic model of influenza transmission and assess global uncertainty in outcome. We illustrate that when parameter uncertainty is not incorporated into outcome estimates, levels of vaccination and treatment predicted to prevent an influenza epidemic will only have an approximately 50% chance of terminating transmission and that sensitivity analysis alone is not sufficient to obtain this information. We demonstrate that accounting for parameter uncertainty yields probabilities of epidemiological outcomes based on the degree to which data support the range of model predictions. Unlike typical sensitivity analyses of dynamic models that only address variation in parameters, the probabilistic uncertainty analysis described here enables modelers to convey the robustness of their predictions to policy makers, extending the power of epidemiological modeling to improve public health.
Gilson, Lucy; Raphaely, Nika
This article provides the first ever review of literature analysing the health policy processes of low and middle income countries (LMICs). Based on a systematic search of published literature using two leading international databases, the article maps the terrain of work published between 1994 and 2007, in terms of policy topics, lines of inquiry and geographical base, as well as critically evaluating its strengths and weaknesses. The overall objective of the review is to provide a platform for the further development of this field of work. From an initial set of several thousand articles, only 391 were identified as relevant to the focus of inquiry. Of these, 164 were selected for detailed review because they present empirical analyses of health policy change processes within LMIC settings. Examination of these articles clearly shows that LMIC health policy analysis is still in its infancy. There are only small numbers of such analyses, whilst the diversity of policy areas, topics and analytical issues that have been addressed across a large number of country settings results in a limited depth of coverage within this body of work. In addition, the majority of articles are largely descriptive in nature, limiting understanding of policy change processes within or across countries. Nonetheless, the broad features of experience that can be identified from these articles clearly confirm the importance of integrating concern for politics, process and power into the study of health policy. By generating understanding of the factors influencing the experience and results of policy change, such analysis can inform action to strengthen future policy development and implementation. This article, finally, outlines five key actions needed to strengthen the field of health policy analysis within LMICs, including capacity development and efforts to generate systematic and coherent bodies of work underpinned by both the intent to undertake rigorous analytical work and concern
Place, Jean Marie S; Billings, Deborah L; Frongillo, Edward A; Blake, Christine E; Mann, Joshua R; deCastro, Filipa
This article critically examines federal, state and facility-level policies, as well as clinical practice guidelines regarding postnatal depression in Mexico. Thirteen documents including national health plans, national action plans, federal and state laws and regulations, clinical practice guidelines, and public-sector healthcare facility policies were collected and evaluated according to whether they included a statement of intent and/or actions related to the care of women at risk for or experiencing postnatal depression. While postnatal depression is included in several policies in Mexico, it is not addressed in ways that guide actions to manage postnatal depression. Specific direction on postnatal depression in policies would bridge a gap in maternal mental healthcare given that medication, treatment, and timing of interventions is unique in the postpartum context.
Center for Mental Health in Schools at UCLA, 2007
Long-standing policy controversies have heated up as a result of increasing proposals for using schools to screen for mental health problems (e.g., depression screening). This brief highlights the following issues: (1) How appropriate is large-scale screening for mental health problems? (2) Will the costs of large-scale mental health screening…
Ngoasong, Michael Zisuh
Over the last decade global health partnerships (GHPs) have been formed to provide a better policy response to Africa's health problems. This paper uses narrative policy analysis to explain the historical processes and challenges facing national and global health policy in facilitating access to medication in African countries. An overview of the historical context of events leading to the creation of GHPs is followed by a content and context analysis of two GHPs - Roll Back Malaria partnership and the Accelerating Access Initiative. The historical narratives implicitly reflect the context in which policy decisions are produced and implemented. The deployment of GHPs in Africa reflects a convergence of the competing and conflicting narratives, in relating to strategies previously promoted by various multilateral and bilateral development agencies, international civil society organizations, and the private commercial industry to facilitate access to medication.
Molnar, Agnes; Renahy, Emilie; O’Campo, Patricia; Muntaner, Carles; Freiler, Alix; Shankardass, Ketan
Background In spite of increasing research into intersections of public policy and health, little evidence shows how policy processes impact the implementation of Health in All Policies (HiAP) initiatives. Our research sought to understand how and why strategies for engaging partners from diverse policy sectors in the implementation of HiAP succeed or fail in order to uncover the underlying social mechanisms contributing to sustainable implementation of HiAP. Methods In this explanatory multiple case study, we analyzed grey and peer-review literature and key informant interviews to identify mechanisms leading to implementation successes and failures in relation to different strategies for engagement across three case studies (Sweden, Quebec and South Australia), after accounting for the role of different contextual conditions. Findings Our results yielded no support for the use of awareness-raising or directive strategies as standalone approaches for engaging partners to implement HiAP. However, we found strong evidence that mechanisms related to “win-win” strategies facilitated implementation by increasing perceived acceptability (or buy-in) and feasibility of HiAP implementation across sectors. Win-win strategies were facilitated by mechanisms related to several activities, including: the development of a shared language to facilitate communication between actors from different sectors; integrating health into other policy agendas (eg., sustainability) and use of dual outcomes to appeal to the interests of diverse policy sectors; use of scientific evidence to demonstrate the effectiveness of HiAP; and using health impact assessment to make policy coordination for public health outcomes more feasible and to give credibility to policies being developed by diverse policy sectors. Conclusion Our findings enrich theoretical understanding in an under-unexplored area of intersectoral action. They also provide policy makers with examples of HiAP across wealthy
Kaltoft, Mette Kjer; Turner, Robin; Cunich, Michelle; Salkeld, Glenn; Nielsen, Jesper Bo; Dowie, Jack
The use of subgroups based on biological-clinical and socio-demographic variables to deal with population heterogeneity is well-established in public policy. The use of subgroups based on preferences is rare, except when religion based, and controversial. If it were decided to treat subgroup preferences as valid determinants of public policy, a transparent analytical procedure is needed. In this proof of method study we show how public preferences could be incorporated into policy decisions in a way that respects both the multi-criterial nature of those decisions, and the heterogeneity of the population in relation to the importance assigned to relevant criteria. It involves combining Cluster Analysis (CA), to generate the subgroup sets of preferences, with Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA), to provide the policy framework into which the clustered preferences are entered. We employ three techniques of CA to demonstrate that not only do different techniques produce different clusters, but that choosing among techniques (as well as developing the MCDA structure) is an important task to be undertaken in implementing the approach outlined in any specific policy context. Data for the illustrative, not substantive, application are from a Randomized Controlled Trial of online decision aids for Australian men aged 40-69 years considering Prostate-specific Antigen testing for prostate cancer. We show that such analyses can provide policy-makers with insights into the criterion-specific needs of different subgroups. Implementing CA and MCDA in combination to assist in the development of policies on important health and community issues such as drug coverage, reimbursement, and screening programs, poses major challenges -conceptual, methodological, ethical-political, and practical - but most are exposed by the techniques, not created by them.
Smith, L. Lerissa; Volny Darko, Renée; McKool, Marissa; Yan, Fengxia; Heiman, Harry
Purpose We assessed the training needs of health policy leaders and practitioners across career stages; identified areas of core content for health policy training programs; and, identified training modalities for health policy leaders. Methods We convened a focus group of health policy leaders at varying career stages to inform the development of the Health Policy Leaders’ Training Needs Assessment tool. We piloted and distributed the tool electronically. We used descriptive statistics and thematic coding for analysis. Results Seventy participants varying in age and stage of career completed the tool. “Cost implications of health policies” ranked highest for personal knowledge development and “intersection of policy and politics” ranked highest for health policy leaders in general. “Effective communication skills” ranked as the highest skill element and “integrity” as the highest attribute element. Format for training varied based on age and career stage. Conclusions This study highlighted the training needs of health policy leaders personally as well as their perceptions of the needs for training health policy leaders in general. The findings are applicable for current health policy leadership training programs as well as those in development. PMID:28333982
Background The social environment is a fundamental determinant of early child development and, in turn, early child development is a determinant of health, well-being, and learning skills across the life course. Redistributive policies aimed at reducing social inequalities, such as a welfare state and labour market policies, have shown a positive association with selected health indicators. In this study, we investigated the influence of redistributive policies specifically on the social environment of early child development in five countries with different political traditions. The objective of this analysis was to highlight similarities and differences in social and health services between the countries and their associations with other health outcomes that can inform better global early child development policies and improve early child health and development. Methods Four social determinants of early child development were selected to provide a cross-section of key time periods in a child’s life from prenatal to kindergarten. They included: 1) prenatal care, 2) maternal leave, 3) child health care, and 4) child care and early childhood education. We searched international databases and reports (e.g. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, World Bank, and UNICEF) to obtain information about early child development policies, services and outcomes. Results Although a comparative analysis cannot claim causation, our analysis suggests that redistributive policies aimed at reducing social inequalities are associated with a positive influence on the social determinants of early child development. Generous redistributive policies are associated with a higher maternal leave allowance and pay and more preventive child healthcare visits. A decreasing trend in infant mortality, low birth weight rate, and under five mortality rate were observed with an increase in redistributive policies. No clear influence of redistributive policies was observed on
Rosella, Laura C; Wilson, Kumanan; Crowcroft, Natasha S; Chu, Anna; Upshur, Ross; Willison, Donald; Deeks, Shelley L; Schwartz, Brian; Tustin, Jordan; Sider, Doug; Goel, Vivek
When responding to a novel infectious disease outbreak, policies are set under time constraints and uncertainty which can limit the ability to control the outbreak and result in unintended consequences including lack of public confidence. The H1N1 pandemic highlighted challenges in public health decision-making during a public health emergency. Understanding this process to identify barriers and modifiable influences is important to improve the response to future emergencies. The purpose of this study is to examine the H1N1 pandemic decision-making process in Canada with an emphasis on the use of evidence for public health decisions. Using semi-structured key informant interviews conducted after the pandemic (July-November 2010) and a document analysis, we examined four highly debated pandemic policies: use of adjuvanted vaccine by pregnant women, vaccine priority groups and sequencing, school closures and personal protective equipment. Data were analysed for thematic content guided by Lomas' policy decision-making framework as well as indicative coding using iterative methods. We interviewed 40 public health officials and scientific advisors across Canada and reviewed 76 pandemic policy documents. Our analysis revealed that pandemic pre-planning resulted in strong beliefs, which defined the decision-making process. Existing ideological perspectives of evidence strongly influenced how information was used such that the same evidentiary sources were interpreted differently according to the ideological perspective. Participants recognized that current models for public health decision-making failed to make explicit the roles of scientific evidence in relation to contextual factors. Conflict avoidance theory explained policy decisions that went against the prevailing evidence. Clarification of roles and responsibilities within the public health system would reduce duplication and maintain credibility. A more transparent and iterative approach to incorporating evidence
Gahungu, T; Coppieters, Y; Berghmans, L
Because of their high prevalence and constant increase, and their impact in terms of human and financial costs, non-communicable diseases (NCD) represent an important public health issue. Recognizing this alarming situation, the international Community took decisive commitments to reduce the spread of this epidemic of the 21st century. These commitments have been translated in the national prevention and care policies. In the Wallonie-Brussels Federation (WBF), a set of health policies to prevent non communicable diseases was initiated. The objectives of the study were to describe, explore promotion and primary and secondary prevention against NCDs policies in WBF, to highlight the main challenges and issues, and to provide some recommendations to concerned actors. To achieve the objectives of this study, a literature review and a qualitative approach were used. Semi-structured interviews of key stakeholders were conducted in WBF. It involved 14 actors selected for their involvement in the formulation and implementation of these policies. It appears that the Belgian institutional complexity, the lack of willingness of policymakers in prevention and health promotion, the lack of a comprehensive structured policy of prevention and health promotion and an absence of any coordination structure are the main obstacles facing the formulation and implementation of these policies.
Depression has received increasing attention as a significant public health issue over the past ten years, both in Canada and elsewhere in the industrialized west. During the same period, many of the social and economic policies adopted by governments in these jurisdictions have reflected neoliberal goals and orientations. The purpose of this article is to explore the points of contact between these two features of contemporary social and political life in the industrialized west, using the Canadian province of British Columbia as an empirical site. My analysis draws on the Foucauldian literature on governmentality in presenting a close reading of provincial government documents concerned with depression and mental health literacy that have been produced since the election of the Liberal Party to office in British Columbia in 2001. This analysis identifies discourses of "responsibilization" circulating in these documents, within which individuals, families, communities and workplaces - rather than publicly-funded services - appear as key resources in responding to experiences of mental distress. It also points to a number of strategies visible in the documents that work to align the interests of individuals and their practitioners in pursuing particular approaches to treatment with a governing interest in reducing public spending on services and supports. The article concludes by identifying a number of resistive discourses and proposing further research in a range of empirical contexts within which they may be evident.
Drygas, Wojciech; Ruszkowska, Joanna; Philpott, Matthew; Björkström, Olav; Parker, Mike; Ireland, Robin; Roncarolo, Federico; Tenconi, Maria
Sport plays an important role within society and sports stadia provide significant settings for public health strategies. In addition to being places of mass gathering, stadia are often located in less affluent areas and are traditionally attended by 'harder to reach' communities. Unfortunately sports stadia and the clubs they host are rarely perceived as places that promote healthy lifestyles. Fast food, alcohol and tobacco are commonly advertized, served and consumed during sports games giving the spectators and TV fans contradictory messages concerning healthy choices. As part of a wider programme of work part-funded by the European Union, a study was therefore designed to explore current 'good practice' relating to positive health interventions in sports stadia across a number of European countries. Using a specially designed questionnaire, information about health policies and good practices relating to food offerings in stadia, physical activity promotion among local communities, tobacco policy, positive mental health initiatives, environmental sustainability practices and social responsibility policies were collected in 10 European countries (England and Northern Ireland, Finland, Georgia, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Poland, Spain and Sweden) involving 88 stadia. The audit results show that stadia health policies differ considerably between specific countries and sports. Based on the literature analysed, the examples of good practices collected through the study, and the subsequent instigation of a European Healthy Stadia Network, it shows that there is considerable potential for stadia to become health promoting settings.
Marzuki, Nuraidah; Ismail, Saimy; Al-Sadat, Nabilla; Ehsan, Fauziah Z; Chan, Chee-Khoon; Ng, Chiu-Wan
Despite the high costs involved and the lack of definitive evidence of sustained effectiveness, many low- and middle-income countries had begun to strengthen their health information system using information and communication technology in the past few decades. Following this international trend, the Malaysian Ministry of Health had been incorporating Telehealth (National Telehealth initiatives) into national health policies since the 1990s. Employing qualitative approaches, including key informant interviews and document review, this study examines the agenda-setting processes of the Telehealth policy using Kingdon's framework. The findings suggested that Telehealth policies emerged through actions of policy entrepreneurs within the Ministry of Health, who took advantage of several simultaneously occurring opportunities--official recognition of problems within the existing health information system, availability of information and communication technology to strengthen health information system and political interests surrounding the national Multimedia Super Corridor initiative being developed at the time. The last was achieved by the inclusion of Telehealth as a component of the Multimedia Super Corridor.
Feldbaum, Harley; Lee, Kelley; Michaud, Joshua
Health has long been intertwined with the foreign policies of states. In recent years, however, global health issues have risen to the highest levels of international politics and have become accepted as legitimate issues in foreign policy. This elevated political priority is in many ways a welcome development for proponents of global health, and it has resulted in increased funding for and attention to select global health issues. However, there has been less examination of the tensions that characterize the relationship between global health and foreign policy and of the potential effects of linking global health efforts with the foreign-policy interests of states. In this paper, the authors review the relationship between global health and foreign policy by examining the roles of health across 4 major components of foreign policy: aid, trade, diplomacy, and national security. For each of these aspects of foreign policy, the authors review current and historical issues and discuss how foreign-policy interests have aided or impeded global health efforts. The increasing relevance of global health to foreign policy holds both opportunities and dangers for global efforts to improve health. PMID:20423936
Onoka, Chima A; Hanson, Kara; Hanefeld, Johanna
This article examines why and how a national health insurance (NHI) proposal targeting universal health coverage (UHC) in Nigeria developed over time. The study involved document reviews, in-depth interviews, a further review of preliminary analysis by relevant actors and use of a stakeholder analysis approach. The need for strategies to improve healthcare funding during the economic recession of the 1980s stimulated the proposal. The inclusion of Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) as financing organizations for national health insurance at the expense of sub-national (state) government mechanisms increased credibility of policy implementation but resulted in loss of support from states. The most successful period of the policy process occurred when a new minister of health (strongly supported by the president that displayed interest in UHC) provided leadership through the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), and effectively managed stakeholders' interests and galvanized their support to advance the policy. Later, the National Health Insurance Scheme (the federal government's implementing/regulatory agency) assumed this leadership role but has been unable to extend coverage in a significant way. Nigeria's experience shows that where political leaders are interested in a UHC-related proposal, the strong political leadership they provide considerably enhances the pace of the policy process. However, public officials should carefully guide policymaking processes that involve private sector actors, to ensure that strategies that compromise the chance of achieving UHC are not introduced. In contexts where authority is shared between federal and state governments, securing federal level commitment does not guarantee that a national health insurance proposal has become a 'national' proposal. States need to be provided with an active role in the process and governance structure. Finally, the article underscores the utility of retrospective stakeholder analysis in
El-Jardali, Fadi; Bou-Karroum, Lama; Ataya, Nour; El-Ghali, Hana Addam; Hammoud, Rawan
Public policymaking is complex and suffers from limited uptake of research evidence, particularly in the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR). In-depth case studies examining health policymaking in the EMR are lacking. This retrospective policy analysis aims at generating insights about how policies are being made, identifying factors influencing policymaking and assessing to what extent evidence is used in this process by using the Lebanese Voluntary Health Insurance policy as a case study. The study examined the policymaking process through a policy tracing technique that covered a period of 12 years. The study employed a qualitative research design using a case study approach and was conducted in two phases over the course of two years. Data was collected using multiple sources including: 1) a comprehensive and chronological media review; 2) twenty-two key informant interviews with policymakers, stakeholders, and journalists; and 3) a document review of legislations, minutes of meetings, actuarial studies, and official documents. Data was analyzed and validated using thematic analysis. Findings showed that the voluntary health insurance policy was a political decision taken by the government to tackle an urgent political problem. Evidence was not used to guide policy development and implementation and policy implementers and other stakeholders were not involved in policy development. Factors influencing policymaking were political interests, sectarianism, urgency, and values of policymakers. Barriers to the use of evidence were lack of policy-relevant research evidence, political context, personal interests, and resource constraints. Findings suggest that policymakers should be made more aware of the important role of evidence in informing public policymaking and the need for building capacity to develop, implement and evaluate policies. Study findings are likely to matter in light of the changes that are unfolding in some Arab countries and the looming
Background Innovative financing strategies such as those that integrate supply and demand elements like the output-based approach (OBA) have been implemented to reduce financial barriers to maternal health services. The Kenyan government with support from the German Development Bank (KfW) implemented an OBA voucher program to subsidize priority reproductive health services. Little evidence exists on the experience of implementing such programs in different settings. We describe the implementation process of the Kenyan OBA program and draw implications for scale up. Methods Policy analysis using document review and qualitative data from 10 in-depth interviews with facility in-charges and 18 with service providers from the contracted facilities, local administration, health and field managers in Kitui, Kiambu and Kisumu districts as well as Korogocho and Viwandani slums in Nairobi. Results The OBA implementation process was designed in phases providing an opportunity for learning and adapting the lessons to local settings; the design consisted of five components: a defined benefit package, contracting and quality assurance; marketing and distribution of vouchers and claims processing and reimbursement. Key implementation challenges included limited feedback to providers on the outcomes of quality assurance and accreditation and budgetary constraints that limited effective marketing leading to inadequate information to clients on the benefit package. Claims processing and reimbursement was sophisticated but required adherence to time consuming procedures and in some cases private providers complained of low reimbursement rates for services provided. Conclusions OBA voucher schemes can be implemented successfully in similar settings. For effective scale up, strong partnership will be required between the public and private entities. The government’s role is key and should include provision of adequate funding, stewardship and looking for opportunities to utilize
Oliver, Thomas R
Politics, for better or worse, plays a critical role in health affairs. The purpose of this article is to articulate a role for political analysis of public health issues, ranging from injury and disease prevention to health care reform. It begins by examining how health problems make it onto the policy agenda. Perceptions regarding the severity of the problem, responsibility for the problem, and affected populations all influence governmental responses. Next, it considers how bounded rationality, fragmented political institutions, resistance from concentrated interests, and fiscal constraints usually lead political leaders to adopt incremental policy changes rather than comprehensive reforms even when faced with serious public health problems. It then identifies conditions under which larger-scale transformation of health policy can occur, focusing on critical junctures in policy development and the role of policy entrepreneurs in seizing opportunities for innovation. Finally, it reviews the challenges confronting officials and agencies who are responsible for implementing and administering health policies. Public health professionals who understand the political dimensions of health policy can conduct more realistic research and evaluation, better anticipate opportunities as well as constraints on governmental action, and design more effective policies and programs.
Higgins, Agnes; Doyle, Louise; Morrissey, Jean; Downes, Carmel; Gill, Ailish; Bailey, Sive
Despite the articulated need for policies and processes to guide risk assessment and safety planning, limited guidance exists on the processes or procedures to be used to develop such policies, and there is no body of research that examines the quality or content of the risk-management policies developed. The aim of the present study was to analyse the policies of risk and safety management used to guide mental health nursing practice in Ireland. A documentary analysis was performed on 123 documents received from 22 of the 23 directors of nursing contacted. Findings from the analysis revealed a wide variation in how risk, risk assessment, and risk management were defined. Emphasis within the risk documentation submitted was on risk related to self and others, with minimal attention paid to other types of risks. In addition, there was limited evidence of recovery-focused approaches to positive risk taking that involved service users and their families within the risk-related documentation. Many of the risk-assessment tools had not been validated, and lacked consistency or guidance in relation to how they were to be used or applied. The tick-box approach and absence of space for commentary within documentation have the potential to impact severely on the quality of information collected and documented, and subsequent clinical decision-making. Managers, and those tasked with ensuring safety and quality, need to ensure that policies and processes are, where possible, informed by best evidence and are in line with national mental health policy on recovery.
Global health financing has increased dramatically in recent years, indicative of a rise in health as a foreign policy issue. Several governments have issued specific foreign policy statements on global health and a new term, global health diplomacy, has been coined to describe the processes by which state and non-state actors engage to position health issues more prominently in foreign policy decision-making. Their ability to do so is important to advancing international cooperation in health. In this paper we review the arguments for health in foreign policy that inform global health diplomacy. These are organized into six policy frames: security, development, global public goods, trade, human rights and ethical/moral reasoning. Each of these frames has implications for how global health as a foreign policy issue is conceptualized. Differing arguments within and between these policy frames, while overlapping, can also be contradictory. This raises an important question about which arguments prevail in actual state decision-making. This question is addressed through an analysis of policy or policy-related documents and academic literature pertinent to each policy framing with some assessment of policy practice. The reference point for this analysis is the explicit goal of improving global health equity. This goal has increasing national traction within national public health discourse and decision-making and, through the Millennium Development Goals and other multilateral reports and declarations, is entering global health policy discussion. Initial findings support conventional international relations theory that most states, even when committed to health as a foreign policy goal, still make decisions primarily on the basis of the 'high politics' of national security and economic material interests. Development, human rights and ethical/moral arguments for global health assistance, the traditional 'low politics' of foreign policy, are present in discourse but do
Labonté, Ronald; Gagnon, Michelle L
Global health financing has increased dramatically in recent years, indicative of a rise in health as a foreign policy issue. Several governments have issued specific foreign policy statements on global health and a new term, global health diplomacy, has been coined to describe the processes by which state and non-state actors engage to position health issues more prominently in foreign policy decision-making. Their ability to do so is important to advancing international cooperation in health. In this paper we review the arguments for health in foreign policy that inform global health diplomacy. These are organized into six policy frames: security, development, global public goods, trade, human rights and ethical/moral reasoning. Each of these frames has implications for how global health as a foreign policy issue is conceptualized. Differing arguments within and between these policy frames, while overlapping, can also be contradictory. This raises an important question about which arguments prevail in actual state decision-making. This question is addressed through an analysis of policy or policy-related documents and academic literature pertinent to each policy framing with some assessment of policy practice. The reference point for this analysis is the explicit goal of improving global health equity. This goal has increasing national traction within national public health discourse and decision-making and, through the Millennium Development Goals and other multilateral reports and declarations, is entering global health policy discussion. Initial findings support conventional international relations theory that most states, even when committed to health as a foreign policy goal, still make decisions primarily on the basis of the 'high politics' of national security and economic material interests. Development, human rights and ethical/moral arguments for global health assistance, the traditional 'low politics' of foreign policy, are present in discourse but do
Aronson, Susan; Smith, Herberta
Drawn from a review of policies at over 100 child care programs nationwide, the model health policies presented in this report are intended for adaptation and selective use by out-of-home child care facilities. Following an introduction, the report presents model policy forms with blanks for adding individualized information for the following…
This article presents to public health professionals concepts and perspectives from political science relevant for creating a healthier public policy. Currently, there is no uniform vision of what constitutes public interest and the decisions of public administrations tend to be based on compromise. In public debate, what is paramount is the capacity to persuade. From the perspective of public policy analysis, the crucial issue is definition: the final decision depends on the definition of the problem that has emerged triumphant in the public debate among competing actors with different definitions of the problem. From a policy analysis perspective, the problems entering the agenda of public administration does not necessarily correspond to their severity, as competing actors try to impose their point of view. Because of its historical evolution, the Spanish political system has specific traits. The relatively weak democratic tradition tends to make the decision process less visibles, with strong technocratic elements and weaker social articulation. Both the juridical tradition and liberal rhetoric portray lobbying as contrary to public interest, when in fact it is constantly performed by powerful vested interest groups, through both personal contacts and economic connections. Regulatory policies, with concentrated costs and diffuse benefits, seem to be moving from Spain to the European Union. To promote healthier public policies, the development of civil society initiatives and the building of coalitions will play an increasingly greater role in the future.
Background Since Mexico's joining the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in 1994, it has witnessed rapid industrialization. A byproduct of this industrialization is increasing population exposure to environmental pollutants, of which some have been associated with childhood disease. We therefore identified and assessed the adequacy of existing international and Mexican governance instruments and policy tools to protect children from environmental hazards. Methods We first systematically reviewed PubMed, the Mexican legal code and the websites of the United Nations, World Health Organization, NAFTA and OECD as of July 2007 to identify the relevant governance instruments, and analyzed the approach these instruments took to preventing childhood diseases of environmental origin. Secondly, we interviewed a purposive sample of high-level government officials, researchers and non-governmental organization representatives, to identify their opinions and attitudes towards children's environmental health and potential barriers to child-specific protective legislation and implementation. Results We identified only one policy tool describing specific measures to reduce developmental neurotoxicity and other children's health effects from lead. Other governance instruments mention children's unique vulnerability to ozone, particulate matter and carbon monoxide, but do not provide further details. Most interviewees were aware of Mexican environmental policy tools addressing children's health needs, but agreed that, with few exceptions, environmental policies do not address the specific health needs of children and pregnant women. Interviewees also cited state centralization of power, communication barriers and political resistance as reasons for the absence of a strong regulatory platform. Conclusions The Mexican government has not sufficiently accounted for children's unique vulnerability to
Wan, Thomas T.H.
An integrated perspective consists of macro- and micro-level approaches to health policy research and evaluation is presented. Analytical strategies are suggested for policy analysis, targeting on health disparities at individual and population levels. This systems approach enables investigators to view how scientific public policy analysis can be implemented to assess policy impacts. In this special issue, five papers are introduced. PMID:25419221
Wan, Thomas T H
An integrated perspective consists of macro- and micro-level approaches to health policy research and evaluation is presented. Analytical strategies are suggested for policy analysis, targeting on health disparities at individual and population levels. This systems approach enables investigators to view how scientific public policy analysis can be implemented to assess policy impacts. In this special issue, five papers are introduced.
Willis, David P., Ed.
This collection of essays focuses on the impact of health policy on black Americans by examining the relation between public policy and the distribution of health needs and effects. The book includes an introduction by David P. Willis and is divided into seven sections. Section I, "Who Are Black Americans?" includes the following…
Kanavos, Panos G
Abstract Objective To review the pharmaceutical sector in Cyprus in terms of the availability and affordability of medicines and to explore pharmaceutical policy options for the national health system finance reform expected to be introduced in 2016. Methods We conducted semi-structured interviews in April 2014 with senior representatives from seven key national organizations involved in pharmaceutical care. The captured data were coded and analysed using the predetermined themes of pricing, reimbursement, prescribing, dispensing and cost sharing. We also examined secondary data provided by the Cypriot Ministry of Health; these data included the prices and volumes of prescription medicines in 2013. Findings We identified several key issues, including high medicine prices, underuse of generic medicines and high out-of-pocket drug spending. Most stakeholders recommended that the national government review existing pricing policies to ensure medicines within the forthcoming national health system are affordable and available, introduce a national reimbursement system and incentivize the prescribing and dispensing of generic medicines. There were disagreements over how to (i) allocate responsibilities to governmental agencies in the national health system, (ii) reconcile differences in opinion between stakeholders and (iii) raise awareness among patients, physicians and pharmacists about the benefits of greater generic drug use. Conclusion In Cyprus, if the national health system is going to provide universal health coverage in a sustainable fashion, then the national government must address the current issues in the pharmaceutical sector. Importantly, the country will need to increase the market share of generic medicines to contain drug spending. PMID:26478624
Introduction Preventative strategies that focus on addressing the social determinants of health to improve healthy eating and physical activity have become an important strategy in British Columbia and Ontario for combating chronic diseases. What has not yet been examined is the extent to which healthy living initiatives implemented under these new policy frameworks successfully engage with and change the social determinants of health. Methods Initiatives active between January 1, 2006 and September 1, 2011 were found using provincial policy documents, web searches, health organization and government websites, and databases of initiatives that attempted to influence to nutrition and physical activity in order to prevent chronic diseases or improve overall health. Initiatives were reviewed, analyzed and grouped using the descriptive codes: lifestyle-based, environment-based or structure-based. Initiatives were also classified according to the mechanism by which they were administered: as direct programs (e.g. directly delivered), blueprints (or frameworks to tailor developed programs), and building blocks (resources to develop programs). Results 60 initiatives were identified in Ontario and 61 were identified in British Columbia. In British Columbia, 11.5% of initiatives were structure-based. In Ontario, of 60 provincial initiatives identified, 15% were structure-based. Ontario had a higher proportion of direct interventions than British Columbia for all intervention types. However, in both provinces, as the intervention became more upstream and attempted to target the social determinants of health more directly, the level of direct support for the intervention lessened. Conclusions The paucity of initiatives in British Columbia and Ontario that address healthy eating and active living through action on the social determinants of health is problematic. In the context of Canada's increasingly neoliberal political and economic policy, the public health sector may face
Jones, Sonya Rochelle; Filerman, Gary L
The objective of the David A. Winston Health Policy Fellowship is to attract and to encourage promising individuals to become successful participants in the health policy process, particularly at the interface of the public and private sectors. From 1987, when the Fellowship was established, through 2004-2005, there have been nineteen Fellows and approximately 65 additional finalists. All but one Fellow hold an MHA or equivalent degree and several hold additional advanced degrees. In comparison to the Fellows, fewer finalists hold additional advanced degrees. The Winston Fellowship Board initiated this study to identify the impact of the Fellowship on the careers of the recipients and, if possible, to track the careers of the finalists to determine the extent to which they have been active in the policy process. The findings are based on a high response rate from former Fellows and a small sample of finalists. Compared to the finalists, the Fellows have been more involved in the policy process and first post-Fellowship employment of Fellows has trended towards Congress in recent years. Fellows noted strengths and weaknesses of the program and made suggestions for improvement. There was agreement among the Fellows that the Fellowship program did influence career direction and content, but it was not possible to draw clear inferences of cause and effect.
Lunze, Karsten; Yurasova, Elena; Idrisov, Bulat; Gnatienko, Natalia; Migliorini, Luigi
Background In the Russian Federation (Russia), an elevated burden of premature mortality attributable to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) has been observed since the country's economic transition. NCDs are largely related to preventable risk factors such as unhealthy diets. Objective This health policy study's aim was to analyze past and current food production and nutritional trends in Russia and their policy implications for Russia's NCD burden. Design We examined food security and nutrition in Russia using an analytical framework of food availability, access to food, and consumption. Results Agricultural production declined during the period of economic transition, and nutritional habits changed from high-fat animal products to starches. However, per-capita energy consumption remained stable due to increased private expenditures on food and use of private land. Paradoxically, the prevalence of obesity still increased because of an excess consumption of unsaturated fat, sugar, and salt on one side, and insufficient intake of fruit and vegetables on the other. Conclusions Policy and economic reforms in Russia were not accompanied by a food security crisis or macronutrient deprivation of the population. Yet, unhealthy diets in contemporary Russia contribute to the burden of NCDs and related avoidable mortality. Food and nutrition policies in Russia need to specifically address nutritional shortcomings and food-insecure vulnerable populations. Appropriate, evidence-informed food and nutrition policies might help address Russia's burden of NCDs on a population level. PMID:26112143
Friel, Sharon; Hattersley, Libby; Townsend, Ruth
Twenty-first-century trade policy is complex and affects society and population health in direct and indirect ways. Without doubt, trade policy influences the distribution of power, money, and resources between and within countries, which in turn affects the natural environment; people's daily living conditions; and the local availability, quality, affordability, and desirability of products (e.g., food, tobacco, alcohol, and health care); it also affects individuals' enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health. In this article, we provide an overview of the modern global trade environment, illustrate the pathways between trade and health, and explore the emerging twenty-first-century trade policy landscape and its implications for health and health equity. We conclude with a call for more interdisciplinary research that embraces complexity theory and systems science as well as the political economy of health and that includes monitoring and evaluation of the impact of trade agreements on health.
Background Globally, chronic diseases are responsible for an enormous burden of deaths, disability, and economic loss, yet little is known about the optimal health sector response to chronic diseases in poor, post-conflict countries. Liberia's experience in strengthening health systems and health financing overall, and addressing HIV/AIDS and mental health in particular, provides a relevant case study for international stakeholders and policymakers in other poor, post-conflict countries seeking to understand and prioritize the global response to chronic diseases. Methods We conducted a historical review of Liberia's post-conflict policies and their impact on general economic and health indicators, as well as on health systems strengthening and chronic disease care and treatment. Key sources included primary documents from Liberia's Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, published and gray literature, and personal communications from key stakeholders engaged in Liberia's Health Sector Reform. In this case study, we examine the early reconstruction of Liberia's health care system from the end of conflict in 2003 to the present time, highlight challenges and lessons learned from this initial experience, and describe future directions for health systems strengthening and chronic disease care and treatment in Liberia. Results Six key lessons emerge from this analysis: (i) the 2007 National Health Policy's 'one size fits all' approach met aggregate planning targets but resulted in significant gaps and inefficiencies throughout the system; (ii) the innovative Health Sector Pool Fund proved to be an effective financing mechanism to recruit and align health actors with the 2007 National Health Policy; (iii) a substantial rural health delivery gap remains, but it could be bridged with a robust cadre of community health workers integrated into the primary health care system; (iv) effective strategies for HIV/AIDS care in other settings should be validated in Liberia and
Cuttler, Leona; Silvers, J B
GH treatment for short children is representative of many frontline issues in health care policy. In this paper, we highlight key policy issues exemplified by GH, focusing on pharmaceutical innovation, insurance coverage and pricing, and physician decisions, and we discuss their implications for endocrinology and GH use.
Erlyana, Erlyana; Acosta-Deprez, Veronica; O'Lawrence, Henry; Sinay, Tony; Ramirez, Jeremy; Jacot, Emmanuel C; Shim, Kyuyoung
The purpose of this study was to explore characteristics of Internet users who seek health insurance information online, as well as factors affecting their behaviors in seeking health insurance information. Secondary data analysis was conducted using data from the 2012 Pew Internet Health Tracking Survey. Of 2,305 Internet user adults, only 29% were seeking health insurance information online. Bivariate analyses were conducted to test differences in characteristics of those who seek health insurance information online and those who do not. A logistic regression model was used to determine significant predictors of health insurance information-seeking behavior online. Findings suggested that factors such as being a single parent, having a high school education or less, and being uninsured were significant and those individuals were less likely to seek health insurance information online. Being a family caregiver of an adult and those who bought private health insurance or were entitled to Medicare were more likely to seek health insurance information online than non-caregivers and the uninsured. The findings suggested the need to provide quality health insurance information online is critical for both the insured and uninsured population.
Cavico, Frank J.; Mujtaba, Bahaudin G.
This perspective is an ethical brief overview and examination of “wellness” policies in the modern workplace using practical examples and a general application of utilitarianism. Many employers are implementing policies that provide incentives to employees who lead a “healthy” lifestyle. The authors address how these policies could adversely affect “non-healthy” employees. There are a wide variety of ethical issues that impact wellness policies and practices in the workplace. The authors conclude that wellness programs can be ethical, while also providing a general reflective analysis of healthcare challenges in order to reflect on the externalities associated with such policies in the workplace. PMID:24596847
Ádám, Balázs; Molnár, Ágnes; Ádány, Róza; Bianchi, Fabrizio; Bitenc, Katarina; Chereches, Razvan; Cori, Liliana; Fehr, Rainer; Kobza, Joanna; Kollarova, Jana; and others
The assessment of health risks of policies is an inevitable, although challenging prerequisite for the inclusion of health considerations in political decision making. The aim of our project was to develop a so far missing methodological guide for the assessment of the complex impact structure of policies. The guide was developed in a consensual way based on experiences gathered during the assessment of specific national policies selected by the partners of an EU project. Methodological considerations were discussed and summarized in workshops and pilot tested on the EU Health Strategy for finalization. The combined tool, which includes a textual guidance and a checklist, follows the top-down approach, that is, it guides the analysis of causal chains from the policy through related health determinants and risk factors to health outcomes. The tool discusses the most important practical issues of assessment by impact level. It emphasises the transparent identification and prioritisation of factors, the consideration of the feasibility of exposure and outcome assessment with special focus on quantification. The developed guide provides useful methodological instructions for the comprehensive assessment of health risks of policies that can be effectively used in the health impact assessment of policy proposals. - Highlights: • Methodological guide for the assessment of health risks of policies is introduced. • The tool is developed based on the experiences from several case studies. • The combined tool consists of a textual guidance and a checklist. • The top-down approach is followed through the levels of the full impact chain. • The guide provides assistance for the health impact assessment of policy proposals.
Molnar, Agnes; Adam, Balazs; Antova, Temenujka; Bosak, Lubos; Dimitrov, Plamen; Mileva, Hristina; Pekarcikova, Jarmila; Zurlyte, Ingrida; Gulis, Gabriel; Adany, Roza; Kosa, Karolina
Marginalised Roma communities in European countries live in substandard housing conditions the improvement of which has been one of the major issues of the Decade of Roma Inclusion, the ongoing intergovernmental European Roma programme. The paper presents EU-funded health impact assessments of national Roma housing policies and programmes in 3 Central and Eastern European countries in light of the evaluation of a completed local project in a fourth CEE country so as to compare predicted effects to observed ones. Housing was predicted to have beneficial health effects by improving indoor and outdoor conditions, access to services, and socioeconomic conditions. Negative impacts were predicted only in terms of maintenance expenses and housing tenure. However, observed impacts of the completed local project did not fully support predictions especially in terms of social networks, satisfaction with housing and neighbourhood, and inhabitant safety. In order to improve the predictive value of HIA, more evidence should be produced by the careful evaluation of locally implemented housing projects. In addition, current evidence is in favour of planning Roma housing projects at the local rather than at the national level in alignment with the principle of subsidiarity. - Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Predictive validity of HIA of national Roma housing policies - in light of current evidence - is low. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Implemented housing projects should be comprehensively evaluated to improve reliability of HIA. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Roma housing projects should be planned at the local rather than at the national level. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer HIA should be used to plan Roma housing projects at the local level.
Henley, Tiffany; Boshier, Maureen
The passage of the Affordable Care Act in the United States has opened a policy window for the establishment of an independent Medicaid agency for the Navajo Nation. This article explores several policy options to improve health care services for Native Americans. Although there is a lack of scholarly research on the impact of healthcare reform and the effectiveness of current health care programs for American Indians, policymakers should utilize evidence-based research to inform policy decisions.
Tesser, Charles Dalcanale; Garcia, Adir Valdemar; Vendruscolo, Carine; Argenta, Cleonete Elena
The results of a qualitative study, carried out between 2007 and 2009 in three cities of Greater Florianópolis into the reality of the family health teams are presented. The scope was to investigate if the analysis of social and health reality was conducted and to what extent it contributed to the inclusion of local actions aiming at health promotion (HP) and permanent education (PE). The results showed that HP and PE, respectively, were being confused with disease prevention and ongoing education and were seldom present in the work of the professionals. Also, they revealed an educational and preventive "spirit," with a didactic approach based on unidirectional transmission of content. Social and health reality were not analyzed in depth and in most cases did not create effective actions to promote health, nor were there processes of permanent education. The practices of recording data by the Health Community Agents were merely compliance with a bureaucratic necessity, although healthcare and prevention require actions of an educational nature. The conclusion reached is that permanent education does not exist in these teams and its introduction can contribute to broaden understanding of health promotion practices.
Ackermann, Ronald T.; Duru, O. Kenrik; Albu, Jeanine B.; Schmittdiel, Julie A.; Soumerai, Stephen B.; Wharam, James F.; Ali, Mohammed K.; Mangione, Carol M.; Gregg, Edward W.
The high prevalence and costs of type 2 diabetes makes it a rapidly evolving focus of policy action. Health systems, employers, community organizations, and public agencies have increasingly looked to translate the benefits of promising research interventions into innovative polices intended to prevent or control diabetes. Though guided by research, these health policies provide no guarantee of effectiveness and may have opportunity costs or unintended consequences. Natural experiments use pragmatic and available data sources to compare specific policies to other policy alternatives or predictions of what would likely have happened in the absence of any intervention. The Natural Experiments for Translation in Diabetes (NEXT-D) Study is a network of academic, community, industry, and policy partners, collaborating to advance the methods and practice of natural experimental research, with a shared aim of identifying and prioritizing the best policies to prevent and control diabetes. This manuscript describes the NEXT-D Study group's multi-sector natural experiments in areas of diabetes prevention or control as case examples to illustrate the selection, design, analysis, and challenges inherent to natural experimental study approaches to inform development or evaluation of health policies. PMID:25998925
Zoboli, Elma; Fortes, Paulo Antonio de Carvalho
In Brazil, bioethics has developed within specific social circumstances taking into account public health issues. In addition, this article analyses the ethical principles of the Brazilian healthcare system issued from the 1988 Federal Constitution which made healthcare a universal right for all citizens. The goal of this system is to provide universal care through an equity policy pertaining to the distribution of resources.
López-Arellano, O; Blanco-Gil, J
In the last 17 years, health policy in Mexico has been shifted from a conception of integrated health care and a gradually extended coverage as a major responsibility of the State and health care public institutions, to in the one hand, a very active promotion of market and private profit in health services and in the other, poverty relief programs. In this paper we identify different periods corresponding to the last three presidential terms. Each clearly represent different stages of health sector reform: transitional (1982-1988), mercantilisation and poverty relief (1988-1994) and, strengthening of the so called health markets (1994-2000). The analyzed transformation is part of the set of secondary reforms subordinated to the structural adjustment and the economic and social megaprojects imposed by the international financial institutions.
Marí-Dell'Olmo, Marc; Novoa, Ana M; Camprubí, Lluís; Peralta, Andrés; Vásquez-Vera, Hugo; Bosch, Jordi; Amat, Jordi; Díaz, Fernando; Palència, Laia; Mehdipanah, Roshanak; Rodríguez-Sanz, Maica; Malmusi, Davide; Borrell, Carme
A large body of literature shows the link between inadequate housing conditions and poor physical and mental health. The aim of this paper is to summarize the research on the impact of local housing policies on health inequalities, focusing on the issues of access to housing and fuel poverty as studied in the SOPHIE project. Our case studies in Spain showed that people facing housing insecurity, experienced intense levels of mental distress. We found that access to secure and adequate housing can improve the health of these populations, therefore, public policies that address housing instability and their consequences are urgently needed. Housing conditions related to fuel poverty are associated with poorer health and are unevenly distributed across Europe. We found possible positive effects of façade insulation interventions on cold-related mortality in women living in social housing; but not in men. Policies on housing energy efficiency can reduce the health consequences of fuel poverty, but need to be free to users, target the most vulnerable groups and be adaptable to their needs.
Public policy is part of and a creator of modern environments. By intent or neglect, it affects our socially-created and natural worlds. It sets the odds for what organizations and individuals are likely to produce and consume in the form of goods, services and information, and assures how equitably these options for choice-making--and thus for life styles--are dispersed among social and economic groups. Policy is also created by environments: it is influenced by the reality of changing conditions and by the perceptions of those changes by groups who are organized to influence policymakers' views of 'reality'. The direction, humaneness and healthfulness of societal changes--to the extent that they can be guided--depend on whether new and old things are seen by policymakers in new or old ways. Creating environments conducive to health thus requires a two-pronged effort. It means: (1) developing policies that provide incentives to producers and consumers to make more healthful choices than they do today; and (2) creating a social and political climate that will encourage policymakers to choose more healthful policy options. This view point is illustrated here through an analysis of the smoking and health issue, in which changing conditions can potentially be healthfully guided, or alternatively, left to the vagaries of political and economic events. This article outlines the changing economics of tobacco, mainly as seen in its largest form in the U.S.A., its policy implications, and a political strategy to move policy in more healthful directions. Economic data reveal the tobacco sector in affluent nations as one that has been slowly declining, but now at an accelerating rate. At the same time, the tobacco economy is a growing sector in less-industrialized nations. Policy issues involve how to deal with the economic changes in health-promoting ways. Strategically this requires two simultaneous efforts. One is education/informational: posing the smoking/health issue
Aldasoro, Elena; Sanz, Elvira; Bacigalupe, Amaia; Esnaola, Santiago; Calderón, Carlos; Cambra, Koldo; Zuazagoitia, Juan
Health not only depends on biologic or lifestyle factors but also on other economic, social, political, and environmental factors that shape the way people live and become ill. Thus, health policies are not the only policies affecting health, and consequently governments are increasingly interested in identifying the effect of other non-health policies on health. Health impact assessment is a prospective methodology that aims to predict the health impacts of policies before their implementation so that modifications can be suggested to maximize positive effects and avoid unexpected negative repercussions on health. The first stage in this process is screening, which can be used to select the interventions that could benefit from complete health impact assessment. Since resources are limited and not all government interventions can be assessed, tools that allow prioritization are essential. As a first stage in the validation of a systematic screening tool for health impact assessment in Spain, this article presents the process of compiling and classifying the non-health public policies of the eighth term of office of the Basque Government. Of the 97 policies analyzed, 76% were related to structural determinants of health inequalities, 79% were tactical or operational, 67% were aimed at specific population groups, and 66% were already implemented. The technical staff of other participating departments perceived the entire process of this initiative and its rationale positively. This initial experience allowed the planning of non-health policies in the Basque Country to be determined in detail as a means to move forward in incorporating impact on health in all policies.
This commentary on the Editorial ‘The politics and analytics of health policy’ by Professor Calum Paton focuses on two issues. First, it points to the unclear links between ideas, ideology, values, and discourse and policy, and warns that discourse is often a poor guide to enacted policy. Second, it suggests that realism, particularly ‘programme theory’ are useful tools for health policy analysis. ‘Market reform’ cannot be reduced to a simple ‘four legs good, two legs bad’ verdict, and programme theory might suggest that certain mechanisms may be good for one outcome in a particular context, but bad for another. PMID:24847488
Seef, Sameh; Jeppsson, Anders
A new influenza virus that was first detected in people in April 2009, was initially referred to colloquially as “swine flu”, since it contained genes from swine, avian and human influenza viruses. It can, however, not be transmitted by eating pork or dealing with pigs. In Egypt, several hundred thousand pigs were killed in May, in spite of advice from global health authorities that such an action was unnecessary. Pigs are raised and consumed mainly by the Christian minority, which constitute some 10% of the population. Health Ministry estimated there were between 300,000-350,000 pigs in Egypt. This paper will analyze the Egyptian health policy for controlling the pandemic H1N1 flu, exploring its context, content, process, and actors. The analysis is based on the Leichter Context, which refers to systemic factors-political, economic and social, both national and international-that may have an effect on health policy, and is based on data collected from literature review and policy documents. The International health officials said the swine flu virus that has caused worldwide fear is not transmitted by pigs, and that pig slaughters do nothing to stop its spread. The WHO stopped using the term “swine flu” to avoid confusion. In Egypt, even the editor of a pro-government newspaper criticized the order to slaughter: “Killing (pigs) is not a solution, otherwise, we should kill the people, because the virus spreads through them,” wrote Abdullah Kamal of the daily Rose El-Youssef. The World Health organization also criticized the decision. The extinction of the Egyptian pigs is an example of how a health issue can be used to persecute a minority within a country. Although the current influenza has nothing whatsoever to do with pigs, the previous name of the epidemic was used as an argument to violate the rights of the Christian minority in Egypt. PMID:23565306
Seef, Sameh; Jeppsson, Anders
A new influenza virus that was first detected in people in April 2009, was initially referred to colloquially as "swine flu", since it contained genes from swine, avian and human influenza viruses. It can, however, not be transmitted by eating pork or dealing with pigs. In Egypt, several hundred thousand pigs were killed in May, in spite of advice from global health authorities that such an action was unnecessary. Pigs are raised and consumed mainly by the Christian minority, which constitute some 10% of the population. Health Ministry estimated there were between 300,000-350,000 pigs in Egypt. This paper will analyze the Egyptian health policy for controlling the pandemic H1N1 flu, exploring its context, content, process, and actors. The analysis is based on the Leichter Context, which refers to systemic factors-political, economic and social, both national and international-that may have an effect on health policy, and is based on data collected from literature review and policy documents. The International health officials said the swine flu virus that has caused worldwide fear is not transmitted by pigs, and that pig slaughters do nothing to stop its spread. The WHO stopped using the term "swine flu" to avoid confusion. In Egypt, even the editor of a pro-government newspaper criticized the order to slaughter: "Killing (pigs) is not a solution, otherwise, we should kill the people, because the virus spreads through them," wrote Abdullah Kamal of the daily Rose El-Youssef. The World Health organization also criticized the decision. The extinction of the Egyptian pigs is an example of how a health issue can be used to persecute a minority within a country. Although the current influenza has nothing whatsoever to do with pigs, the previous name of the epidemic was used as an argument to violate the rights of the Christian minority in Egypt.
Holman, Elizabeth; Francis, Royce; Gray, George
The goal of this study was to systematically evaluate the choices made in deriving a chronic oral noncancer human health reference value (HHRV) for a given chemical by different organizations, specifically those from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Health Canada, RIVM (the Netherlands), and the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. This analysis presents a methodological approach for comparing both the HHRVs and the specific choices made in the process of deriving an HHRV across these organizations. Overall, across the 96 unique chemicals and 171 two-way organizational comparisons, the HHRV agreed approximately 26% of the time. A qualitative method for identifying the primary factors influencing these HHRV differences was also developed, using arrays of HHRVs across organizations for the same chemical. The primary factors identified were disagreement on the critical or principal study and differential application of the total uncertainty factor across organizations. Of the cases where the total UF was the primary factor influencing HHRV disagreement, the database UF had the greatest influence.
Kim, Jinhyun; Yang, Bong-Min; Lee, Tae-Jin; Kang, Eunjeong
An empirical perspective on the relationship between health and poverty is examined in Korea. Combining selection and causation models, the authors developed a simultaneous equations system with health and poverty as exogenous variables. Based on a national health survey, the possible impact of health on household poverty was tested. The authors found that poor health determines household poverty in several ways, controlling for other confounding factors. Feasible strategies to reduce illness in low-income classes include monitoring the poor with their health status, extending the Medicaid program, and expanding public hospitals for the poor class to access to health services.
Mirzoev, Tolib; Lê, Gillian; Green, Andrew; Orgill, Marsha; Komba, Adalgot; Esena, Reuben K; Nyapada, Linet; Uzochukwu, Benjamin; Amde, Woldekidan K; Nxumalo, Nonhlanhla; Gilson, Lucy
The importance of health policy and systems research and analysis (HPSR+A) is widely recognized. Universities are central to strengthening and sustaining the HPSR+A capacity as they teach the next generation of decision-makers and health professionals. However, little is known about the capacity of universities, specifically, to develop the field. In this article, we report results of capacity self- assessments by seven universities within five African countries, conducted through the Consortium for Health Policy and Systems Analysis in Africa (CHEPSAA). The capacity assessments focused on both capacity 'assets' and 'needs', and covered the wider context, as well as organizational and individual capacity levels. Six thematic areas of capacity were examined: leadership and governance, organizations' resources, scope of HPSR+A teaching and research, communication, networking and getting research into policy and practice (GRIPP), demand for HPRS+A and resource environment. The self-assessments by each university used combinations of document reviews, semi-structured interviews and staff surveys, followed by comparative analysis. A framework approach, guided by the six thematic areas, was used to analyse data. We found that HPSR+A is an international priority, and an existing activity in Africa, though still neglected field with challenges including its reliance on unpredictable international funding. All universities have capacity assets, such as ongoing HPSR+A teaching and research. There are, however, varying levels of assets (such as differences in staff numbers, group sizes and amount of HPSR+A teaching and research), which, combined with different capacity needs at all three levels (such as individual training, improvement in systems for quality assurance and fostering demand for HPSR+A work), can shape a future agenda for HPSR+A capacity strengthening. Capacity assets and needs at different levels appear related. Possible integrated strategies for strengthening
1302 Essential Health Benefits (X) √ §1302 Minimum Actuarial Value (X) √ §1302 Maximum Out-of-Pocket Limits (X) √ Source: CRS analysis of ACA...also not possible to develop reliable estimates on the number of individuals who renewed policies through “early renewal” or who will be offered...must provide at least 30 days’ prior notice to the individual before coverage may be rescinded. Source: CRS analysis of relevant federal law and
Oster, Candice; Henderson, Julie; Lawn, Sharon; Reed, Richard; Dawson, Suzanne; Muir-Cochrane, Eimear; Fuller, Jeffrey
Mental health care for older people is a significant and growing issue in Australia and internationally. This article describes how older people's mental health is governed through policy discourse by examining Australian Commonwealth and South Australian State government policy documents, and commentaries from professional groups, advocacy groups and non-governmental organisations. Documents published between 2009 and 2014 were analysed using a governmentality approach, informed by Foucault. Discourses of 'risk', 'ageing as decline/dependence' and 'healthy ageing' were identified. Through these discourses, different neo-liberal governmental strategies are applied to 'target' groups according to varying risk judgements. Three policy approaches were identified where older people are (1) absent from policy, (2) governed as responsible, active citizens or (3) governed as passive recipients of health care. This fragmented policy response to older people's mental health reflects fragmentation in the Australian policy environment. It constructs an ambiguous place for older people within neo-liberal governmental rationality, with significant effects on the health system, older people and their carers.
Oster, Candice; Henderson, Julie; Lawn, Sharon; Reed, Richard; Dawson, Suzanne; Muir-Cochrane, Eimear; Fuller, Jeffrey
Mental health care for older people is a significant and growing issue in Australia and internationally. This article describes how older people’s mental health is governed through policy discourse by examining Australian Commonwealth and South Australian State government policy documents, and commentaries from professional groups, advocacy groups and non-governmental organisations. Documents published between 2009 and 2014 were analysed using a governmentality approach, informed by Foucault. Discourses of ‘risk’, ‘ageing as decline/dependence’ and ‘healthy ageing’ were identified. Through these discourses, different neo-liberal governmental strategies are applied to ‘target’ groups according to varying risk judgements. Three policy approaches were identified where older people are (1) absent from policy, (2) governed as responsible, active citizens or (3) governed as passive recipients of health care. This fragmented policy response to older people’s mental health reflects fragmentation in the Australian policy environment. It constructs an ambiguous place for older people within neo-liberal governmental rationality, with significant effects on the health system, older people and their carers. PMID:27147440
Watt, Nicola F; Gomez, Eduardo J; McKee, Martin
Amidst the growing literature on global health, much has been written recently about the Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa (BRICS) countries and their involvement and potential impact in global health, particularly in relation to development assistance. Rather less has been said about countries' motivations for involvement in global health negotiations, and there is a notable absence of evidence when their motivations are speculated on. This article uses an existing framework linking engagement in global health to foreign policy to explore differing levels of engagement by BRICS countries in the global health arena, with a particular focus on access to medicines. It concludes that countries' differing and complex motivations reinforce the need for realistic, pragmatic approaches to global health debates and their analysis. It also underlines that these analyses should be informed by analysis from other areas of foreign policy.
Policy incoherence at the interface between trade policy and health can take many forms, such as international trade commitments that strengthen protection of pharmaceutical patents, or promotion of health tourism that exacerbates the shortage of physicians in rural areas. Focusing on the national policy-making process, we make recommendations regarding five conditions that are necessary, but not sufficient, to ensure that international trade policies are coherent with national health objectives. These conditions are: space for dialogue and joint fact-finding; leadership by ministries of health; institutional mechanisms for coordination; meaningful engagement with stakeholders; and a strong evidence base.
Llamas, Ana; Mayhew, Susannah
Maternal mortality continues to claim the lives of thousands of women in Latin America despite the availability of effective treatments to avert maternal death. In the past, efforts to acknowledge cultural diversity in birth practices had not been clearly integrated into policy. However, in Otavalo (Ecuador) a local hospital pioneered the implementation of the 'Vertical Birth'-a practical manifestation of an intercultural health policy aimed at increasing indigenous women's access to maternity care. Drawing on agenda-setting theory, this qualitative research explores how the vertical birth practice made it onto the local policy agenda and the processes that allowed actors to seize a window of opportunity allowing the vertical birth practice to emerge. Our results show that the processes that brought about the vertical birth practice took place over a prolonged period of time and resulted from the interplay between various factors. Firstly, a maternal health policy community involving indigenous actors played a key role in identifying maternal mortality as a policy problem, defining its causes and framing it as an indigenous rights issue. Secondly, previous initiatives to address maternal mortality provided a wealth of experience that gave these actors the knowledge and experience to formulate a feasible policy solution and consolidate support from powerful actors. Thirdly, the election of a new government that had incorporated the demands of the indigenous movement opened up a window of opportunity to push intercultural health policies such as the vertical birth. We conclude that the socioeconomic and political changes at both national and local level allowed the meaningful participation of indigenous actors that made a critical contribution to the emergence of the vertical birth practice. These findings can help us advance our knowledge of strategies to set the agenda for intercultural maternal health policy and inform future policy in similar settings. Our
Barnes, Christopher M; Drake, Christopher L
The schedules that Americans live by are not consistent with healthy sleep patterns. In addition, poor access to educational and treatment aids for sleep leaves people engaging in behavior that is harmful to sleep and forgoing treatment for sleep disorders. This has created a sleep crisis that is a public health issue with broad implications for cognitive outcomes, mental health, physical health, work performance, and safety. New public policies should be formulated to address these issues. We draw from the scientific literature to recommend the following: establishing national standards for middle and high school start times that are later in the day, stronger regulation of work hours and schedules, eliminating daylight saving time, educating the public regarding the impact of electronic media on sleep, and improving access to ambulatory in-home diagnostic testing for sleep disorders.
Lamping, Antonie J; Raab, Jörg; Kenis, Patrick
This study explores the system of intermediate organizations in Dutch health care as the crucial system to understand health care policy-making in the Netherlands. We argue that the Dutch health care system can be understood as a system consisting of distinct but inter-related policy domains. In this study, we analyze four such policy domains: Finances, quality of care, manpower planning and pharmaceuticals. With the help of network analytic techniques, we describe how this highly differentiated system of >200 intermediate organizations is structured and coordinated and what (policy) consequences can be observed with regard to its particular structure and coordination mechanisms. We further analyze the extent to which this system of intermediate organizations enables participation of stakeholders in policy-making using network visualization tools. The results indicate that coordination between the different policy domains within the health care sector takes place not as one would expect through governmental agencies, but through representative organizations such as the representative organizations of the (general) hospitals, the health care consumers and the employers' association. We further conclude that the system allows as well as denies a large number of potential participants access to the policy-making process. As a consequence, the representation of interests is not necessarily balanced, which in turn affects health care policy. We find that the interests of the Dutch health care consumers are well accommodated with the national umbrella organization NPCF in the lead. However, this is no safeguard for the overall community values of good health care since, for example, the interests of the public health sector are likely to be marginalized.
Alarcón, R. D.; Aguilar-Gaxiola, S. A.
New assessment guidelines for measuring the overall impact of mental health problems in Latin America have served as a catalyst for countries to review their mental health policies. Latin American countries have taken various steps to address long-standing problems such as structural difficulties, scarce financial and human resources, and social, political, and cultural obstacles in the implementation of mental health policies and legislation. These policy developments, however, have had uneven results. Policies must reflect the desire, determination, and commitment of policy-makers to take mental health seriously and look after people's mental health needs. This paper describes the development of mental health policies in Latin American countries, focusing on published data in peer-reviewed journals, and legislative change and its implementation. It presents a brief history of mental health policy developments, and analyzes the basis and practicalities of current practice. PMID:10885167
Center for Mental Health in Schools at UCLA, 2006
Today's school and community stakeholders are attempting to address complex, multifaceted, and overlapping psychosocial and mental health concerns in diverse, fragmented and at-times marginalized ways. This has led to competition for sparse resources and inadequate results. Enhancing mental health in schools is not an easy task. The bottom line is…
Women, in Nepal, suffer from low levels of literacy, limited access to health care, and widespread poverty. This article describes the health status of Nepalese women, major interventions, and constraints. Nepalese women face 10 major critical health issues. Women have little choice in determining marriage partners, number of children, or family planning (FP). Women's status is measured by the number of sons. Women's security is tied to the childbearing capacity. Women lack property rights and access to independent resources. Clause 9 of the Law permits men to remarry and leave their wives destitute: if the woman is incurably mentally ill; if the woman has an infectious, incurable venereal disease; if the woman is an invalid; if the woman is infertile after 10 years of marriage; or if the woman is living separate and taking her share of ANSA. The 6th 5-Year Plan offered the integration of FP within other development programs. Population policy included, for the first time, women's programs. Four major women-oriented strategies were included in the 1984 National Population Strategy: 1) the encouragement of women's employment through training and job opportunities in health, education, and agricultural industries; 2) provision of institutional support that accommodates women's needs; 3) integration of women's development within Integrated Development Projects; and 4) distribution of appropriate technology. Future actions should focus on reproductive health, FP for adolescents and men, women's control of their own fertility, and the education of the girl child.
Pinzon-Perez, Helda; Kotkin-Jaszi, Suzanne; Perez, Miguel A.
Health policy has a direct impact on health education initiatives, health care delivery, resource allocation, and quality of life. Increasing rates in the epidemics of obesity and obesity-dependent diabetes mellitus (aka diabesity) suggest that health policy changes should be included in health education and disease prevention strategies. Health…
Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, Paris (France). Centre for Educational Research and Innovation.
This volume is the companion to the 1997 collection of international education indicators from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), "Education at a Glance--OECD Indicators." It aims to deepen the analysis of current policy issues and facilitate interpretation of data using selected indicators of particular…
Dominicus, D A; Akamatsu, T
This paper describes the current health policy in Tanzania and its implementations. The present health policy in Tanzania originated from Arusha declaration of 1967, the country's most popular national policy after independence. Arusha declaration proclaims socialism and self-reliance, which has had important impact on the form and content of the present country's health policy in mainland Tanzania. Much of the wide-spread health care services infrastructure that is evident now in rural areas of Tanzania mainland is a result of the re-emphasis of the Arusha declaration in 1971. In Tanzania, the Ministry of Health has the responsibility for elaborating the health policy, ensuring that strategies and appropriate program are developed to give effect to the policy. In the present health policy discussed, the goal is seen to have shifted from having one dispensary in each village to one primary health unit in each village. One dispensary is intended to serve several villages together. In Tanzania, according to the present health policy, the village primary health care are mainly preventive oriented and only being managed by short term trained health staff. The candidate for training in each village is selected, among the village residents, by the villagers themselves. The primary health care system adopted by Tanzania is viewed as the only way through which it can achieve the social goal of health for everyone by the year 2000, provided the present political will which is evident continue, and enough availability of, human, financial and material resources.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
Dinour, Lauren M.
Competitive foods in schools have historically been scrutinized for their ubiquity and poor nutritional quality, leading many states to enact legislation limiting the availability and accessibility of these items. Evaluations of these policy approaches show their promise in improving the healthfulness of school food environments, considered an…
Barros, Maria Elizabeth Barros de; Guedes, Carla Ribeiro; Roza, Monica Maria Raphael
The article addresses the elaboration of a method for analysis/intervention in the sphere of public health policies. It describes the introduction of the National Humanization Policy of the Unified Health System (SUS) in a general hospital. It proposes institutional support expressed as a method for doing things that seeks the creation of group action, work process analysis and involves examining work management methods. It relies on promotion of health, which implies the production of subjects. The promotion of health is a networking process that involves individuals, work processes, knowledge and power. The challenge of supporting this network is to foster the exercise of the role of individuals and summon the inherent creative potential of life for the construction of new ways of work management that are not new forms of subjection. The study aims to show that by means of institutional support it is possible to bring to the fore the forces involved in the promotion of health and thereby summon the groups for an analysis of its implications. The effects produced indicate that this is a powerful strategy for the intervention of work processes within the scope of public health policies.
Llamas, Ana; Mayhew, Susannah
Maternal mortality continues to claim the lives of thousands of women in Latin America despite the availability of effective treatments to avert maternal death. In the past, efforts to acknowledge cultural diversity in birth practices had not been clearly integrated into policy. However, in Otavalo (Ecuador) a local hospital pioneered the implementation of the ‘Vertical Birth’—a practical manifestation of an intercultural health policy aimed at increasing indigenous women’s access to maternity care. Drawing on agenda-setting theory, this qualitative research explores how the vertical birth practice made it onto the local policy agenda and the processes that allowed actors to seize a window of opportunity allowing the vertical birth practice to emerge. Our results show that the processes that brought about the vertical birth practice took place over a prolonged period of time and resulted from the interplay between various factors. Firstly, a maternal health policy community involving indigenous actors played a key role in identifying maternal mortality as a policy problem, defining its causes and framing it as an indigenous rights issue. Secondly, previous initiatives to address maternal mortality provided a wealth of experience that gave these actors the knowledge and experience to formulate a feasible policy solution and consolidate support from powerful actors. Thirdly, the election of a new government that had incorporated the demands of the indigenous movement opened up a window of opportunity to push intercultural health policies such as the vertical birth. We conclude that the socioeconomic and political changes at both national and local level allowed the meaningful participation of indigenous actors that made a critical contribution to the emergence of the vertical birth practice. These findings can help us advance our knowledge of strategies to set the agenda for intercultural maternal health policy and inform future policy in similar settings
World Bank/International Monetary Fund Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs) have been introduced in over 40 countries of Africa. This article outlines their economic policy measures and the experience of the countries that have introduced them, in terms of nutrition, health status, and health services. The evidence indicates that SAPs have been associated with increasing food insecurity and undernutrition, rising ill-health, and decreasing access to health care in the two-thirds or more of the population of African countries that already lives below poverty levels. SAPs have also affected health policy, with loss of a proactive health policy framework, a widening gap between the affected communities and policy makers, and the replacement of the underlying principle of equity in and social responsibility for health care by a policy in which health is marketed commodity and access to health care becomes an individual responsibility. The author argues that there is a deep contradiction between SAPs and policies aimed at building the health of the population. Those in the health sector need to contribute to the development and advocacy of economic policies in which growth is based on human resource development, and to the development of a civic environment in Africa that can ensure the implementation of such policies.
Brownson, Ross C; Chriqui, Jamie F; Stamatakis, Katherine A
Public health policy has a profound impact on health status. Missing from the literature is a clear articulation of the definition of evidence-based policy and approaches to move the field forward. Policy-relevant evidence includes both quantitative (e.g., epidemiological) and qualitative information (e.g., narrative accounts). We describe 3 key domains of evidence-based policy: (1) process, to understand approaches to enhance the likelihood of policy adoption; (2) content, to identify specific policy elements that are likely to be effective; and (3) outcomes, to document the potential impact of policy. Actions to further evidence-based policy include preparing and communicating data more effectively, using existing analytic tools more effectively, conducting policy surveillance, and tracking outcomes with different types of evidence.
Cutler, David M.; Lleras-Muney, Adriana
A large and persistent association between education and health has been well-documented in many countries and time periods and for a wide variety of health measures. In their paper, "Education and Health: Evaluating Theories and Evidence," presented at the National Poverty Center conference "The Health Effects of Non-Health Policy," David M.…
Arabi, Akram; Rafii, Forough; Cheraghi, Mohammad Ali; Ghiyasvandian, Shahrzad
Background: Nurses’ influence on health policy protects the quality of care by access to required recourses and opportunities. This is a new and important concept for nursing; however, research studies on policy influence of nurses in health care sector are lacking a basic conceptual understanding of what this concept represents. The aim of this paper is to clarify the concept of nurses’ policy influence and to propose the definition of this concept, considering the context of Iran. Materials and Methods: The eight stages of Walker and Avant approach was used to guide this concept analysis. Various databases and internet engines were searched to find all related information about the concept. Textbooks were also searched manually. English language literature reports published between 1990 and 2012 were reviewed. Results: Based on the analysis undertaken, nurses’ policy influence is nurses’ ability in influencing decisions and affairs related to health through political knowledge, effective communication, and collaboration with other members of the health team, which results in the improvement of nurses’ job environment and increases patient outcomes. This is a dynamic process situated on a spectrum and is accompanied with nurses’ knowledge, competency, power, and advocacy, and also their ability to change. Conclusions: Nurses have individual views on health care issues and influence health care policies in different ways. With a common understanding of nurses’ policy influence as a concept, nurses will recognize the importance of policy making in the health sector and their influence on this process and also on patients’ outcomes. PMID:24949073
Background Mental health policy is needed to set the strategy and direction for the provision of mental health services in a country. Policy formulation does not occur in a vacuum, however, but is influenced by local and international factors in the health sector and other sectors. Methods This study was carried out in 1997 to examine the evolution of mental health policy in Kenya between 1965 and 1997 in the context of changing international concepts of health and development. Qualitative content analysis of policy documents was combined with interviews of key policy makers. Results The study showed that during the period 1965-1997 the generic health policy in Kenya changed from one based on the Medical Model in the 1960s and 1970s to one based on the Primary Health Care Model in the late 1970s and the 1980s and finally to one based on the Market Model of health care in the 1990s. The mental health policy, on the other hand, evolved from one based on the Medical Model in the 1960s to one based on the Primary Health Care Model in the 1990s, but did not embrace the Market Model of health care. This resulted in a situation in the 1990s where the mental health policy was rooted in a different conceptual model from that of the generic health policy under which it was supposed to be implemented. This "Model Muddlement" may have impeded the implementation of the mental health policy in Kenya. Conclusions Integration of the national mental health policy with the general health policy and other sector policies would be appropriate and is now underway. PMID:20426855
Morris, F.A.; Cole, R.J.
This report summarizes principles, techniques, and other information for doing institutional analyses in the area of energy policy. The report was prepared to support DOE's Regional Issues Identification and Assessment (RIIA) program. RIIA identifies environmental, health, safety, socioeconomic, and institutional issues that could accompany hypothetical future scenarios for energy consumption and production on a regional basis. Chapter 1 provides some theoretical grounding in institutional analysis. Chapter 2 provides information on constructing institutional maps of the processes for bringing on line energy technologies and facilities contemplated in RIIA scenarios. Chapter 3 assesses the institutional constraints, opportunities, and impacts that affect whether these technologies and facilities would in fact be developed. Chapters 4 and 5 show how institutional analysis can support use of exercises such as RIIA in planning institutional change and making energy policy choices.
Aronson, Susan S.
Drawn from a review of policies at over 100 child care programs nationwide, this document compiles model health policies intended for adaptation and selective use by out-of-home child care facilities. Following an introduction, the document presents model policy forms with blanks for adding individualized information for the following areas: (1)…
Thompson, Amy; Boardley, Debra; Kerr, Dianne; Greene, Tiffany; Jenkins, Melissa
The purpose of this national study was to determine advocacy activities and level of involvement of health commissioners regarding public policy. Benefits, barriers, and perceived outcomes of advocacy efforts were also explored. A previously validated (Holtrop et al., Am J Health Behav 24(2):132-142, 2000) four-page survey was mailed to 700 health commissioners, who were randomly selected from the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) database. A three-wave mailing was performed which yielded a 50% response rate. Of these respondents, the majority (70%) were female and (88%) Caucasian. Overall, 31% of health commissioners reported being involved in influencing public policy in the last 4 years. The most common reported activities engaged in by health commissioners included voting (84%), and providing policy information to consumers or other professionals (77%). Perceived barriers to influencing policy were time, (64%), and other priorities (46%). Perceived benefits to influencing policy included improving the health of the public (94%) and making a difference in others' lives (87%). Only 15% perceived their knowledge regarding the process of changing public policy was excellent. Although health commissioners are often spokespersons for health agencies and communities, their public policy involvement is marginal. Professional preparation programs and continuing education opportunities should focus on advocacy, public policy development, and removing barriers to action.
Brandert, Kathleen; McCarthy, Claudine; Grimm, Brandon; Svoboda, Colleen; Palm, David; Stimpson, Jim P
There is growing recognition that health goals are more likely to be achieved and sustained if programs are complemented by appropriate changes in the policies, systems, and environments that shape their communities. However, the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to create and implement policy are among the major needs identified by practitioners at both the state and local levels. This article describes the structure and content of the Nebraska Health Policy Academy (the Academy), a 9-month program developed to meet the demand for this training. The Academy is a competency-based training program that aims to increase the capacity of Nebraska's state and local public health staff and their community partners to use public health policy and law as a public health tool. Our initiative allows for participation across a large, sparsely populated state; is grounded in adult learning theory; introduces the key principles and practices of policy, systems, and environmental change; and is offered free of charge to the state's public health workforce. Challenges and lessons learned when offering workforce development on public health policy efforts are discussed.
Eriksson, C G; Mohs, E; Eriksson, B
Costa Rica is one of the world's success stories in primary health care. During the past 20 years the country has experienced a demographic and epidemiological transition. However, during the 80's the economic recession severely affected the country. The social, economic, political and geographic contexts are important for the assessment of health policy. The longstanding democracy, investments in public education and health all contribute to the peace and stability. Assessment of health policy needs both a quantitative and qualitative approach. The policy-making process--how policies are made, translated into action and evaluated--is a research challenge. The national health policy 1986-1990 includes commitment to Health for All strategy; development of the National Health Care System; strengthening of the health care infrastructure; consolidation of health achievements and undertaking of new problems and approaches on integral care for the population; community participation in all health care system activities; and health care priorities. Important research issues are the relationship between the needs of the population and health policy development and the impacts of health policy on the health of the population. A comprehensive study of policy-making includes studies of policy content, process, output and evaluation of impacts (including economy of health policy), and analysis for policy, i.e. information for policy making, process and policy advocacy. Recent successful health policy issues are child health and HIV/AIDS, while water pollution and traffic accidents have been more problematic policy issues.
Starkiene, Liudvika; Macijauskiene, Jurate; Riklikiene, Olga; Stricka, Marius; Padaiga, Zilvinas
Many of the strategic planning studies worldwide have made recommendations to the policy makers on the steps to be taken in eliminating the perceived shortages of physician workforce or in improving their distribution and retention. Policy makers have also considered various policy interventions to ensure adequate numbers of physicians. This study reviewed the research evidence and health policy decisions taken from 2000 to 2010 in Lithuania and evaluated the chronological links over time between scientific recommendations and policy decisions. From the analysis it would seem that Lithuania's success in retaining physicians between 2000 and 2010 was influenced by the timely implementation of particular research recommendations, such as increased salaries and increased enrolment to physician training programmes. In addition were the health policy interventions such as health sector reform, change in the legal status of medical residents and establishment of professional re-entry programmes. Based on this evidence it is recommended that policy makers in Lithuania as well as in other countries should consider comprehensive and systematic health policy approaches that combine and address various aspects of physician training, retention, geographic mal-distribution and emigration. Implementation of such an inclusive policy however is impossible without the integration of research into strategic decision making in workforce planning and effective health policy interventions.
Background Intervention research provides important information regarding feasible and effective interventions for health policy makers, but few empirical studies have explored the mechanisms by which these studies influence policy and practice. This study provides an exploratory case series analysis of the policy, practice and other related impacts of the 15 research projects funded through the New South Wales Health Promotion Demonstration Research Grants Scheme during the period 2000 to 2006, and explored the factors mediating impacts. Methods Data collection included semi-structured interviews with the chief investigators (n = 17) and end-users (n = 29) of each of the 15 projects to explore if, how and under what circumstances the findings had been used, as well as bibliometric analysis and verification using documentary evidence. Data analysis involved thematic coding of interview data and triangulation with other data sources to produce case summaries of impacts for each project. Case summaries were then individually assessed against four impact criteria and discussed at a verification panel meeting where final group assessments of the impact of research projects were made and key influences of research impact identified. Results Funded projects had variable impacts on policy and practice. Project findings were used for agenda setting (raising awareness of issues), identifying areas and target groups for interventions, informing new policies, and supporting and justifying existing policies and programs across sectors. Reported factors influencing the use of findings were: i) nature of the intervention; ii) leadership and champions; iii) research quality; iv) effective partnerships; v) dissemination strategies used; and, vi) contextual factors. Conclusions The case series analysis provides new insights into how and under what circumstances intervention research is used to influence real world policy and practice. The findings highlight that intervention
Hutt, Peter Barton
Major criticisms of health science policy are that (1) health science research is not presently designed to help the public which pays for it; (2) the public should have greater control over health science research; and (3) federal funding of training for health science research is an inappropriate use of tax funds. (Author/DB)
This is one of a set of six short articles, grouped under the umbrella title "Grassroots bioethics revisited: health care priorities and community values," with a very brief introduction by Bruce Jennings. The articles focus on the involvement of community health decisions projects with public policy issues of access to health care, allocation of resources, setting health care priorities, cost containment, and rationing.
Gureje, O.; Alem, A.
Mental health issues are usually given very low priority in health service policies. Although this is changing, African countries are still confronted with so many problems caused by communicable diseases and malnutrition that they have not waken up to the impact of mental disorders. Every country must formulate a mental health policy based on its own social and cultural realities. Such policies must take into account the scope of mental health problems, provide proven and affordable interventions, safeguard patients' rights, and ensure equity. PMID:10885166
Nuscheler, Robert; Roeder, Kerstin
Health care financing and funding are usually analyzed in isolation. This paper combines the corresponding strands of the literature and thereby advances our understanding of the important interaction between them. We investigate the impact of three modes of health care financing, namely, optimal income taxation, proportional income taxation, and insurance premiums, on optimal provider payment and on the political implementability of optimal policies under majority voting. Considering a standard multi-task agency framework we show that optimal health care policies will generally differ across financing regimes when the health authority has redistributive concerns. We show that health care financing also has a bearing on the political implementability of optimal health care policies. Our results demonstrate that an isolated analysis of (optimal) provider payment rests on very strong assumptions regarding both the financing of health care and the redistributive preferences of the health authority.
This article describes national level development towards a Health in All Policies approach in Finland over the past four decades. In the early 1970s, improving public health became a political priority, and the need to influence key determinants of health through sectors beyond the health sector became evident. The work began with policy on nutrition, smoking and accident prevention. Intersectoral health policy was developed together with the World Health Organization (WHO). When Finland joined the European Union in 1995, some competencies were delegated to the EU which complicated national intersectoral work. The priority in the EU is economy, but the Constitution's requirement to protect health in all policies gives legal backing for including health consideration in the EU-level work. To promote that, Finland adopted 'Health in All Policies' (HiAP) as the health theme for its EU Presidency in 2006. The intersectoral work on health has developed from tackling single health problems, through large-scale programmes, further to systematic work based on legislation and permanent structures. In the 2000s, work at local level was strengthened by introducing more focused and tighter legislation and by providing expert support for implementation. Recently, emphasis has been on broad objectives and Governmental intersectoral programmes, and actors outside the administrative machinery. Great improvements in the population health have been gained over the past few decades. However, health inequalities across social groups have remained unacceptably large. Major decisions on economic policy with varying impacts by the social groups have been made without health impact assessment, or ignoring assessments conducted.
Advanced Placement (AP), launched in 1955 by the College Board as a program to offer gifted high school students the opportunity to complete entry-level college coursework, has since expanded to encourage a broader array of students to tackle challenging content. This Education Commission of the State's Policy Analysis identifies key components of…
Atkinson, Stephen; Sachedina, Nabihah; King, Judith; Mak, Matthew; Morganstein, Louise; Mytton, Oliver T; Thomas, Justyn
This paper presents an analysis of the views and ideas generated at a recent health policy discussion for doctors in training. This provides an illustration of the creativity and enthusiasm that trainees can bring to the policy sphere by providing unique insights and a fresh perspective.
France, George; Taroni, Francesco
An analysis of the dynamics of health care policy in Italy suggests that in recent years the pace of change in the health care system has accelerated. Although the basic features of universalism, comprehensiveness, and funding from general taxation have remained remarkably constant, the capacity to innovate policy tools and their settings and to take account of domestic and international experience seems to have increased. The political will and capacity to combat entrenched interests may also have increased, although implementation is still weak. The imperative to contain public expenditure has heavily conditioned health policy and will continue to do so. This has occurred mainly at the national level, but as the principal locus of health-policy making progressively shifts to the regions, so too will the constraining effect of this imperative move downward. If the decentralization process continues, problems could arise due to interregional differences in capacities to formulate and implement appropriate policies and to tackle special interest groups.
Lindhjem, Henrik; Navrud, Ståle; Braathen, Nils Axel; Biausque, Vincent
We conduct, to our knowledge, the first global meta-analysis (MA) of stated preference (SP) surveys of mortality risk valuation. The surveys ask adults their willingness to pay (WTP) for small reductions in mortality risks, deriving estimates of the sample mean value of statistical life (VSL) for environmental, health, and transport policies. We explain the variation in VSL estimates by differences in the characteristics of the SP methodologies applied, the population affected, and the characteristics of the mortality risks valued, including the magnitude of the risk change. The mean (median) VSL in our full data set of VSL sample means was found to be around $7.4 million (2.4 million) (2005 U.S. dollars). The most important variables explaining the variation in VSL are gross domestic product (GDP) per capita and the magnitude of the risk change valued. According to theory, however, VSL should be independent of the risk change. We discuss and test a range of quality screening criteria in order to investigate the effect of limiting the MA to high-quality studies. When limiting the MA to studies that find statistically significant differences in WTP using external or internal scope tests (without requiring strict proportionality), we find that mean VSL from studies that pass both tests tend to be less sensitive to the magnitude of the risk change. Mean VSL also tends to decrease when stricter screening criteria are applied. For many of our screened models, we find a VSL income elasticity of 0.7-0.9, which is reduced to 0.3-0.4 for some subsets of the data that satisfy scope tests or use the same high-quality survey.
McCarrier, Kelly P; Martin, Diane P; Ralston, James D; Zimmerman, Frederick J
Minimum wage policies have been advanced as mechanisms to improve the economic conditions of the working poor. Both positive and negative effects of such policies on health care access have been hypothesized, but associations have yet to be thoroughly tested. To examine whether the presence of minimum wage policies in excess of the federal standard of $5.15 per hour was associated with health care access indicators among low-skilled adults of working age, a cross-sectional analysis of 2004 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data was conducted. Self-reported health insurance status and experience with cost-related barriers to needed medical care were adjusted in multi-level logistic regression models to control for potential confounding at the state, county, and individual levels. State-level wage policy was not found to be associated with insurance status or unmet medical need in the models, providing early evidence that increased minimum wage rates may neither strengthen nor weaken access to care as previously predicted.
Ruggiano, Nicole; Brown, Ellen L; Hristidis, Vagelis; Page, Timothy F
The potential for health information technology to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of health care has resulted in several U.S. policy initiatives aimed at integrating health information technology into health care systems. However, home health care agencies have been excluded from incentive programs established through policies, raising concerns on the extent to which health information technology may be used to improve the quality of care for older adults with chronic illness and disabilities. This analysis examines the potential issues stemming from this exclusion and explores potential opportunities of integrating home health care into larger initiatives aimed at establishing health information technology systems for meaningful use.
Roby, Dylan H; Jacobs, Ken; Kertzner, Alex E; Kominski, Gerald F
This article explores the creation, design, and execution of a university-based collaboration to provide responsive research and evidence to a group of diverse health care, labor, and consumer stakeholders through convening a funded series of deliberative meetings, research briefs, peer-reviewed journal articles, ad hoc data analyses, and policy analyses. Funded by the California Endowment, the California Health Policy Research Program was created by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education, and the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. The collaboration not only allowed new research and analyses to be used by stakeholders and policy makers in decision making but also allowed university researchers to receive input on the important health policy issues of the day. The guidance of stakeholders in the research and policy analysis process was vital in driving meaningful results during an important time in health policy making in California. The manuscript discusses lessons learned in building relationships with stakeholders; meeting research and analytic needs; engaging stakeholders and policy makers; building capacity for quick-turnaround data collection and analysis, dissemination and publication; and maintaining the collaboration.
... OFFICE Health Information Technology Policy Committee Nomination Letters AGENCY: Government... Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) established the Health Information Technology Policy Committee (Health IT Policy Committee) and gave the Comptroller General responsibility for appointing 13 of its...
Burris, Scott; Hitchcock, Laura; Ibrahim, Jennifer; Penn, Matthew; Ramanathan, Tara
Governments use statutes, regulations, and policies, often in innovative ways, to promote health and safety. Organizations outside government, from private schools to major corporations, create rules on matters as diverse as tobacco use and paid sick leave. Very little of this activity is systematically tracked. Even as the rest of the health system is working to build, share, and use a wide range of health and social data, legal information largely remains trapped in text files and pdfs, excluded from the universe of usable data. This article makes the case for the practice of policy surveillance to help end the anomalous treatment of law in public health research and practice. Policy surveillance is the systematic, scientific collection and analysis of laws of public health significance. It meets several important needs. Scientific collection and coding of important laws and policies creates data suitable for use in rigorous evaluation studies. Policy surveillance addresses the chronic lack of readily accessible, nonpartisan information about status and trends in health legislation and policy. It provides the opportunity to build policy capacity in the public health workforce. We trace its emergence over the past fifty years, show its value, and identify major challenges ahead.
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Lantz, Paula M; Lichtenstein, Richard L; Pollack, Harold A
Because of a strong tendency to "medicalize" health status problems and to assume that their primary solution involves medical care, policymakers often focus on increased financial and geographic access to personal health services in policies aimed at populations that are vulnerable to poor health. This approach has produced real public health gains, but it has neglected key social and economic causes of health vulnerability and disparities. Although access to care is a necessary component of population health, concerted policy action in income security, education, housing, nutrition/food security, and the environment is also critical in efforts to improve health among socially disadvantaged populations.
Blinkhorn, Anthony S.; Downer, Martin C.; Drugan, Caroline S.
Background and Objective: The main purpose of this review was to rehearse the available evidence of good practice in dental public health in order to define policies that could improve oral health in the enlarged European Union and associated countries. Secondary objectives were to describe the basic principles of health service organisation and…
This article examines the role of international institutional actors in China's health policy process. Particular attention is paid to three major international institutional actors: the World Bank, the World Health Organization, and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Through process tracing and comparative case studies, the article looks at how international institutions contribute to policy change in China and seeks to explain different outcomes in the relationship between international institutions and China's health policies. It finds that despite the opaque and exclusive authoritarian structure in China, international institutions play a significant role in the country's domestic health governance. By investing their resources and capabilities selectively and strategically, international institutions can change the preferences of government policy makers, move latent public health issues to the government's agenda, and affect the timing of government action and the content of policy design. Furthermore, the study suggests that different outcomes in the relationship between China's health policies and global health governance can be explained through the seriousness of the externalities China faces.
Sage, William M
Embryonic stem cells are actively debated in political and public policy arenas. However, the connections between stem cell innovation and overall health care policy are seldom elucidated. As with many controversial aspects of medical care, the stem cell debate bridges to a variety of social conversations beyond abortion. Some issues, such as translational medicine, commercialization, patient and public safety, health care spending, physician practice, and access to insurance and health care services, are core health policy concerns. Other issues, such as economic development, technologic progress, fiscal politics, and tort reform, are only indirectly related to the health care system but are frequently seen through a health care lens. These connections will help determine whether the stem cell debate reaches a resolution, and what that resolution might be.
De Vos, Pol; Van der Stuyft, Patrick
For decades, two opposing logics have dominated the health policy debate: a comprehensive health care approach, with the 1978 Alma Ata Declaration as its cornerstone, and a private competition logic, emphasizing the role of the private sector. We present this debate and its influence on international health policies in the context of changing global economic and sociopolitical power relations in the second half of the last century. The neoliberal approach is illustrated with Chile's health sector reform in the 1980s and the Colombian reform since 1993. The comprehensive "public logic" is shown through the social insurance models in Costa Rica and in Brazil and through the national public health systems in Cuba since 1959 and in Nicaragua during the 1980s. These experiences emphasize that health care systems do not naturally gravitate toward greater fairness and efficiency, but require deliberate policy decisions.
Koon, Adam D; Hawkins, Benjamin; Mayhew, Susannah H
Framing research seeks to understand the forces that shape human behaviour in the policy process. It assumes that policy is a social construct and can be cast in a variety of ways to imply multiple legitimate value considerations. Frames provide the cognitive means of making sense of the social world, but discordance among them forms the basis of policy contestation. Framing, as both theory and method, has proven to generate considerable insight into the nature of policy debates in a variety of disciplines. Despite its salience for understanding health policy debates; however, little is known about the ways frames influence the health policy process. A scoping review using the Arksey and O'Malley framework was conducted. The literature on framing in the health sector was reviewed using nine health and social science databases. Articles were included that explicitly reported theory and methods used, data source(s), at least one frame, frame sponsor and evidence of a given frame's effect on the health policy process. A total of 52 articles, from 1996 to 2014, and representing 12 countries, were identified. Much of the research came from the policy studies/political science literature (n = 17) and used a constructivist epistemology. The term 'frame' was used as a label to describe a variety of ideas, packaged as values, social problems, metaphors or arguments. Frames were characterized at various levels of abstraction ranging from general ideological orientations to specific policy positions. Most articles presented multiple frames and showed how actors advocated for them in a highly contested political process. Framing is increasingly an important, yet overlooked aspect of the policy process. Further analysis on frames, framing processes and frame conflict can help researchers and policymakers to understand opaque and highly charged policy issues, which may facilitate the resolution of protracted policy controversies.
Koon, Adam D; Hawkins, Benjamin; Mayhew, Susannah H
Framing research seeks to understand the forces that shape human behaviour in the policy process. It assumes that policy is a social construct and can be cast in a variety of ways to imply multiple legitimate value considerations. Frames provide the cognitive means of making sense of the social world, but discordance among them forms the basis of policy contestation. Framing, as both theory and method, has proven to generate considerable insight into the nature of policy debates in a variety of disciplines. Despite its salience for understanding health policy debates; however, little is known about the ways frames influence the health policy process. A scoping review using the Arksey and O’Malley framework was conducted. The literature on framing in the health sector was reviewed using nine health and social science databases. Articles were included that explicitly reported theory and methods used, data source(s), at least one frame, frame sponsor and evidence of a given frame’s effect on the health policy process. A total of 52 articles, from 1996 to 2014, and representing 12 countries, were identified. Much of the research came from the policy studies/political science literature (n = 17) and used a constructivist epistemology. The term ‘frame’ was used as a label to describe a variety of ideas, packaged as values, social problems, metaphors or arguments. Frames were characterized at various levels of abstraction ranging from general ideological orientations to specific policy positions. Most articles presented multiple frames and showed how actors advocated for them in a highly contested political process. Framing is increasingly an important, yet overlooked aspect of the policy process. Further analysis on frames, framing processes and frame conflict can help researchers and policymakers to understand opaque and highly charged policy issues, which may facilitate the resolution of protracted policy controversies. PMID:26873903
Brunet, Sébastien; Fallon, Catherine; Joris, Geoffrey; Leva, Chantal
Participation, inter-sectoral action, networking and local-level policies are key-concepts mobilised by public authorities in the field health promotion. These concepts are implemented by those working in the field of public health without necessarily knowing how these professionals really understand or interpret them A participatory initiative organised by the Liege Centre for Health Promotion (Province of Liege, Belgium) offered an opportunity to clarify issues related to the ownership of these concepts by the professionals in the field. The initiative also served as a forum to nourish and develop reflection around how to build more coherent public policies in the field of public health.
Csete, Joanne; Kamarulzaman, Adeeba; Kazatchkine, Michel; Altice, Frederick; Balicki, Marek; Buxton, Julia; Cepeda, Javier; Comfort, Megan; Goosby, Eric; Goulão, João; Hart, Carl; Horton, Richard; Kerr, Thomas; Lajous, Alejandro Madrazo; Lewis, Stephen; Martin, Natasha; Mejía, Daniel; Mathiesson, David; Obot, Isidore; Ogunrombi, Adeolu; Sherman, Susan; Stone, Jack; Vallath, Nandini; Vickerman, Peter; Zábranský, Tomáš; Beyrer, Chris
monitoring of practices. In too many countries, beatings, forced labor, and denial of health care and adequate sanitation are offered in the name of treatment, including in compulsory detention centres that are more like prisons than treatment facilities. Where there are humane treatment options, it is often the case that those most in need of it cannot afford it. In many countries, there is no treatment designed particularly for women, though it is known that women’s motivations for and physiological reactions to drug use differ from those of men. The pursuit of the elimination of drugs has led to aggressive and harmful practices targeting people who grow crops used in the manufacture of drugs, especially coca leaf, opium poppy, and cannabis. Aerial spraying of coca fields in the Andes with the defoliant glyphosate (N-(phosphonomethyl glycine) has been associated with respiratory and dermatological disorders and with miscarriages. Forced displacement of poor rural families who have no secure land tenure exacerbates their poverty and food insecurity and in some cases forces them to move their cultivation to more marginal land. Geographic isolation makes it difficult for state authorities to reach drug crop cultivators in public health and education campaigns and it cuts cultivators off from basic health services. Alternative development programmes meant to offer other livelihood opportunities have poor records and have rarely been conceived, implemented, or evaluated with respect to their impact on people’s health. Research on drugs and drug policy has suffered from the lack of a diversified funding base and assumptions about drug use and drug pathologies on the part of the dominant funder, the US government. At a time when drug policy discussions are opening up around the world, there is an urgent to bring the best of non-ideologically-driven health science, social science and policy analysis to the study of drugs and the potential for policy reform. Policy alternatives
Bhattacharya, Dru; Bhatt, Jay
In 2016, Keyes and Galea issued 9 foundational principles of population health science and invited further deliberations by specialists to advance the field. This article presents 7 foundational principles of population health policy whose intersection with health care, public health, preventive medicine, and now population health, presents unique challenges. These principles are in response to a number of overarching questions that have arisen in over a decade of the authors' collective practice in the public and private sectors, and having taught policy within programs of medicine, law, nursing, and public health at the graduate and executive levels. The principles address an audience of practitioners and policy makers, mindful of the pressing health care challenges of our time, including: rising health-related expenditures, an aging population, workforce shortages, health disparities, and a backdrop of inequities rooted in social determinants that have not been adequately translated into formal policies or practices among the key stakeholders in population health. These principles are meant to empower stakeholders-whether it is the planner or the practitioner, the decision maker or the dedicated caregiver-and inform the development of practical tools, research, and education.
The 21st century health society is characterized by 2 major social processes: the expansion of the territory of health and the expansion of the reflexivity of health. The boundaries of what we call the <health system> are becoming increasingly fluid and health has become integral to how we live our everyday life. Health itself has become a major economic and social driving force in society. This shifts the pressure for policy innovation from a focus on the existing health system to a reorganization of how we approach health in 21st century societies. The dynamics of the health society challenge the way we conceptualize and locate health in the policy arena, the mechanisms through which we conduct health policy and they redefine who should be involved in the policy process. This concern is beginning to be addressed within government through joined up government approaches, beyond government through making health everybody's business and beyond nation states as a new interface between domestic and foreign policy.
Background Cuba has extended its medical cooperation to Pacific Island Countries (PICs) by supplying doctors to boost service delivery and offering scholarships for Pacific Islanders to study medicine in Cuba. Given the small populations of PICs, the Cuban engagement could prove particularly significant for health systems development in the region. This paper reviews the magnitude and form of Cuban medical cooperation in the Pacific and analyses its implications for health policy, human resource capacity and overall development assistance for health in the region. Methods We reviewed both published and grey literature on health workforce in the Pacific including health workforce plans and human resource policy documents. Further information was gathered through discussions with key stakeholders involved in health workforce development in the region. Results Cuba formalised its relationship with PICs in September 2008 following the first Cuba-Pacific Islands ministerial meeting. Some 33 Cuban health personnel work in Pacific Island Countries and 177 Pacific island students are studying medicine in Cuba in 2010 with the most extensive engagement in Kiribati, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. The cost of the Cuban medical cooperation to PICs comes in the form of countries providing benefits and paying allowances to in-country Cuban health workers and return airfares for their students in Cuba. This has been seen by some PICs as a cheaper alternative to training doctors in other countries. Conclusions The Cuban engagement with PICs, while smaller than engagement with other countries, presents several opportunities and challenges for health system strengthening in the region. In particular, it allows PICs to increase their health workforce numbers at relatively low cost and extends delivery of health services to remote areas. A key challenge is that with the potential increase in the number of medical doctors, once the local students return from Cuba, some PICs
Health planning is a complex procedure in the American federal system of multi-authorities and multi-levels of responsibility. Because of its public nature, responsibility for the area of health planning is delegated to the health professional for its substantive dimension, but to the politician-bureaucrat and public-decision-maker for its policy…
Currie, Graeme; Dingwall, Robert; Kitchener, Martin; Waring, Justin
This Special Issue of Social Science & Medicine investigates the potential for positive inter-disciplinary interaction, a 'generative dance', between organization studies (OS), and two of the journal's traditional disciplinary foundations: health policy and medical sociology. This is both necessary and timely because of the extent to which organizations have become a neglected topic within medical sociology and health policy analysis. We argue there is need for further and more sustained theoretical and conceptual synergy between OS, medical sociology and health policy, which provides, on the one-hand a cutting-edge and thought-provoking basis for the analysis of contemporary health reforms, and on the other hand, enables the development and elaboration of theory. We emphasize that sociologists and policy analysts in healthcare have been leading contributors to our understanding of organizations in modern society, that OS enhances our understanding of medical settings, and that organizations remain one of the most influential actors of our time. As a starting point to discussion, we outline the genealogy of OS and its application to healthcare settings. We then consider how medical sociology and health policy converge or diverge with the concerns of OS in the study of healthcare settings. Following this, we focus upon the material environment, specifically the position of business schools, which frames the generative dance between OS, medical sociology and health policy. This sets the context for introducing the thirteen articles that constitute the Special Issue of Social Science & Medicine.
Berner, James E; Gilman, Andrew
In Western Hemisphere arctic regions, scientific findings in humans, wildlife, and the environment have resulted in major governmental policy formulations. Government policy resulted in establishment of an effective international organization to address scientifically identified problems, including health disparities in arctic indigenous populations. Western scientific data and indigenous knowledge from initial international programs led to international agreements restricting certain persistent organic pollutants. In recent years, scientific data, and indigenous traditional knowledge, have resulted in governmental policy in the United States, Canada, and Nordic countries that includes the full participation of indigenous residents in defining research agendas, interpreting data, communicating information, and local community policy formulation.
Matjasko, Jennifer L.; Cawley, John H.; Baker-Goering, Madeleine M.; Yokum, David V.
Behavioral economics provides an empirically informed perspective on how individuals make decisions, including the important realization that even subtle features of the environment can have meaningful impacts on behavior. This commentary provides examples from the literature and recent government initiatives that incorporate concepts from behavioral economics in order to improve health, decision making, and government efficiency. The examples highlight the potential for behavioral economics to improve the effectiveness of public health policy at low cost. Although incorporating insights from behavioral economics into public health policy has the potential to improve population health, its integration into government public health programs and policies requires careful design and continual evaluation of such interventions. Limitations and drawbacks of the approach are discussed. PMID:27102853
Health economics has had a significant impact on the New Zealand health system over the past 30 years. In this paper, I set out a framework for thinking about health economics, give some historical background to New Zealand and the New Zealand health system, and discuss examples of how health economics has influenced thinking about the organisation of the health sector and priority setting. I conclude the paper with overall observations about the role of health economics in health policy in New Zealand, also identifying where health economics has not made the contribution it could and where further influence might be beneficial.
... OFFICE Health Information Technology Policy Committee Vacancy AGENCY: Government Accountability Office... Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) established the Health Information Technology Policy Committee (Health IT.... ARRA requires that one member have expertise in health information privacy and security. Due to...
The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) demonstrates the international political will invested in combating the tobacco pandemic and a newfound prominence for tobacco control within the global health agenda. However, major difficulties exist in managing conflicts with foreign and trade policy priorities, and significant obstacles confront efforts to create synergies with development policy and avoid tensions with other health priorities. This paper uses the concept of policy coherence to explore congruence and inconsistencies in objectives, policy, and practice between tobacco control and trade, development and global health priorities. Following the inability of the FCTC negotiations to satisfactorily address the relationship between trade and health, several disputes highlight the challenges posed to tobacco control policies by multilateral and bilateral agreements. While the work of the World Bank has demonstrated the potential contribution of tobacco control to development, the absence of non-communicable diseases from the Millennium Development Goals has limited scope to offer developing countries support for FCTC implementation. Even within international health, tobacco control priorities may be hard to reconcile with other agendas. The paper concludes by discussing the extent to which tobacco control has been pursued via a model of governance very deliberately different from those used in other health issues, in what can be termed 'tobacco exceptionalism'. The analysis developed here suggests that non-communicable disease (NCD) policies, global health, development and tobacco control would have much to gain from re-examining this presumption of difference.
The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) demonstrates the international political will invested in combating the tobacco pandemic and a newfound prominence for tobacco control within the global health agenda. However, major difficulties exist in managing conflicts with foreign and trade policy priorities, and significant obstacles confront efforts to create synergies with development policy and avoid tensions with other health priorities. This paper uses the concept of policy coherence to explore congruence and inconsistencies in objectives, policy, and practice between tobacco control and trade, development and global health priorities. Following the inability of the FCTC negotiations to satisfactorily address the relationship between trade and health, several disputes highlight the challenges posed to tobacco control policies by multilateral and bilateral agreements. While the work of the World Bank has demonstrated the potential contribution of tobacco control to development, the absence of non-communicable diseases from the Millennium Development Goals has limited scope to offer developing countries support for FCTC implementation. Even within international health, tobacco control priorities may be hard to reconcile with other agendas. The paper concludes by discussing the extent to which tobacco control has been pursued via a model of governance very deliberately different from those used in other health issues, in what can be termed ‘tobacco exceptionalism’. The analysis developed here suggests that non-communicable disease (NCD) policies, global health, development and tobacco control would have much to gain from re-examining this presumption of difference. PMID:22345267
Peters, Henry B.
The subject of health policy and its influence on patients and providers is explored with an emphasis on an interprofessional consortium, devoted to representing the consumer constituency. Expanded involvement and expenditures by the federal government in the health care field are discussed and the need for regulatory reform is described.…
Boot, Nicole; van Assema, Patricia; Hesdahl, Bert; de Vries, Nanne
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the role of a school health promotion (SHP) advisor in the implementation of the six steps of the Dutch "Schoolbeat" approach, aimed at establishing health promotion policies and activities in secondary schools. Design/methodology/approach: In total, 80 school board members, and 18…
Miner, Kimberly J.; Baker, Judith A.
Health educators must complement individual-level change with communitywide policy and legislative initiatives, focusing on environmental issues such as air pollution, ozone layer depletion, and toxic waste disposal. Recent increases in discomfort and disease related to the physical environment call for immediate action from health professionals…
Fosse, Elisabeth; Bull, Torill; Burström, Bo; Fritzell, Sara
This article focuses on differences in health and welfare outcomes for families with children in three European countries, discussed in relation to national policies for child and family welfare. Data consist of policy documents and cross-national surveys. The document analysis was based on policy documents that described government policies. The statistical analyses utilize data from the European Social Survey. For the analyses in this article, a sub-sample of child families was selected from the countries Slovenia, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Data showed that England's policy has mainly addressed socially disadvantaged groups and areas. Sweden and Slovenia are mainly developing universal policies. The United Kingdom has high scores for subjective general health, but a steep income gradient in the population. Parents in England experience the highest level of at-risk-of-poverty. Sweden generally scores well on health outcomes and on level of at-risk-of-poverty, and the gradient in self-rated general health is the mildest. Slovenia has the weakest economy, but low levels of inequality and low child at-risk-for-poverty scores. The Slovenian example suggests that not only the level of economic wealth, but also its distribution in the population, has bearings on health and life satisfaction, not least on the health of children.
Bauman, Adrian E; King, Lesley; Nutbeam, Don
Current international attention to Health in all policies (HiAP) has its origins in a more sophisticated understanding of the impact of public policies on health, and a recognition that policies across government have an impact on the social and environmental determinants of health and related inequalities in health. As an emerging field, there has been limited attention focused on comprehensive approaches to the evaluation of HiAP to date, and the research focus around HiAP has mainly examined the processes of cross-sectoral policy development, rather than their health-related impacts or outcomes. The purpose of this paper is to explore issues in assessing the implementation of HiAP and describe an expanded evaluation framework for assessing the potential intermediate and end-point effects of HiAP actions, using a planning logic model for 'complex programs'. This meets the needs of public sector policy-makers who express an interest in understanding the relationship between HiAP and health-related and social outcomes. The paper proposes applying a contribution analysis method to estimate and model the anticipated impacts of HiAP policies on intermediate and longer term outcomes, in advance of empirical studies of these outcomes, and as an innovative input into HiAP and evaluation planning. A broader long-term evaluation framework will enhance the political saliency of HiAP initiatives, especially from governments considering HiAP approaches in financially constrained environments.
Anker, Thomas Boysen
This article analyses the paternalistic justification of the world's first mandatory tobacco plain packaging policy, which came into force in Australia in 2012. The policy is setting international precedence, with a range of developed and developing countries planning and implementing similar policies. Understanding the paternalistic dimension of the policy is therefore of imminent international importance. The policy meets important ethical benchmarks such as respect for citizens' self-interests and protection of others against harm. However, plain packaging faces a number of ethical challenges: the policy is a controversial type of paternalism; it runs partially against the harm principle; and it fails to meet key operational criteria.
Méndez, Claudio A.
The global health agenda has been dominating the current global health policy debate. Furthermore, it has compelled countries to embrace strategies for tackling health inequalities in a wide range of public health areas. The article by Robert and colleagues highlights that although globalization has increased opportunities to share and spread ideas, there is still great asymmetry of power according to the countries’ economic and political development. It also emphasizes how policy diffusion from High Income Countries (HICs) to Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs) have had flaws at understanding their political, economic, and cultural backgrounds while they are pursuing knowledge translation. Achieving a fair global health policy diffusion of ideas would imply a call for a renewal on political elites worldwide at coping global health politics. Accordingly, moving towards fairness in disseminating global health ideas should be driven by politics not only as one of the social determinants of health, but the main determinant of health and well-being among—and within—societies. PMID:25114949
For over a century and a half, reformers, researchers and politicians have complained that social and public health policy is not based on evidence. Linear models of knowledge transfer gaps are consistently shown to be poor predictors of research uptake. Public health research, in particular, involves more elements than the linear biomedical model of translation into healthcare products or interventions. Policy makers certainly need to be more sophisticated in understanding and commissioning different types of research and acting on it. However, researchers also need to be much more sophisticated and less naive in understanding how research does and does not influence policy, and how to go about helping policy makers to interpret the jigsaw of evidence, and its relevance and usability.
Hart, L Gary; Larson, Eric H; Lishner, Denise M
The term "rural" suggests many things to many people, such as agricultural landscapes, isolation, small towns, and low population density.However, defining "rural" for health policy and research purposes requires researchers and policy analysts to specify which aspects of rurality are most relevant to the topic at hand and then select an appropriate definition. Rural and urban taxonomies often do not discuss important demographic, cultural, and economic differences across rural places-differences that have major implications for policy and research. Factors such as geographic scale and region also must be considered. Several useful rural taxonomies are discussed and compared in this article. Careful attention to the definition of "rural" is required for effectively targeting policy and research aimed at improving the health of rural Americans.
This article presents a synthesis of studies that explicitly use the theory of street-level bureaucracy to illuminate health policy implementation in low- and middle-income countries. Street-level bureaucrats are frontline workers in bureaucracies, e.g. nurses, who regularly interact directly with citizens in discharging their policy implementation duties and who have some discretion over which services are offered, how services are offered and the benefits and sanctions allocated to citizens. This synthesis seeks to achieve the dual objectives of, first, reflecting on how street-level bureaucracy theory has been used in the literature and, second, providing an example of the application of the synthesis methodology of meta-ethnography to the health policy analysis literature. The article begins by outlining meta-ethnography and providing more information on the papers on which the synthesis is based. This is followed by a detailed account of how the synthesis was achieved and by an articulation of the synthesis. It then concludes with thoughts and questions on the value and relevance of the synthesis, the experience of conducting the synthesis and the partial way in which street-level bureaucracy theory has been used in the literature examined.
Fooks, Gary J.; Gilmore, Anna B.
Background The Framework Convention of Tobacco Control (FCTC) provides a basis for nation states to limit the political effects of tobacco industry philanthropy, yet progress in this area is limited. This paper aims to integrate the findings of previous studies on tobacco industry philanthropy with a new analysis of British American Tobacco's (BAT) record of charitable giving to develop a general model of corporate political philanthropy that can be used to facilitate implementation of the FCTC. Method Analysis of previously confidential industry documents, BAT social and stakeholder dialogue reports, and existing tobacco industry document studies on philanthropy. Results The analysis identified six broad ways in which tobacco companies have used philanthropy politically: developing constituencies to build support for policy positions and generate third party advocacy; weakening opposing political constituencies; facilitating access and building relationships with policymakers; creating direct leverage with policymakers by providing financial subsidies to specific projects; enhancing the donor's status as a source of credible information; and shaping the tobacco control agenda by shifting thinking on the importance of regulating the market environment for tobacco and the relative risks of smoking for population health. Contemporary BAT social and stakeholder reports contain numerous examples of charitable donations that are likely to be designed to shape the tobacco control agenda, secure access and build constituencies. Conclusions and Recommendations Tobacco companies' political use of charitable donations underlines the need for tobacco industry philanthropy to be restricted via full implementation of Articles 5.3 and 13 of the FCTC. The model of tobacco industry philanthropy developed in this study can be used by public health advocates to press for implementation of the FCTC and provides a basis for analysing the political effects of charitable giving in other
Glass, Gene V., Ed.
This document consists of the 19 articles published in the Electronic Journal "Education Policy Analysis Archives" for the year 1996: (1) "The Achievement Crisis Is Real: A Review of 'The Manufactured Crisis'" (Lawrence C. Stedman); (2) "Staff Development Policy: Fuzzy Choices in an Imperfect Market" (Robert T.…
Glass, Gene V., Ed.
This document consists of the 2000 edition of the "Education Policy Analysis Archives." The papers include: (1) "Teacher Quality and Student Achievement: A Review of State Policy Evidence" (Linda Darling-Hammond); (2) "America Y2K: The Obsolescence of Educational Reforms" (Sherman Dorn); (3) "Forces for Change in…
Health social networking sites (HSNS), virtual communities where users connect with each other around common problems and share relevant health data, have been increasingly adopted by medical professionals and patients. The growing use of HSNS like Sermo and PatientsLikeMe has prompted public concerns about the risks that such online data-sharing platforms pose to the privacy and security of personal health data. This paper articulates a set of privacy risks introduced by social networking in health care and presents a practical example that demonstrates how the risks might be intrinsic to some HSNS. The aim of this study is to identify and sketch the policy implications of using HSNS and how policy makers and stakeholders should elaborate upon them to protect the privacy of online health data.
Health social networking sites (HSNS), virtual communities where users connect with each other around common problems and share relevant health data, have been increasingly adopted by medical professionals and patients. The growing use of HSNS like Sermo and PatientsLikeMe has prompted public concerns about the risks that such online data-sharing platforms pose to the privacy and security of personal health data. This paper articulates a set of privacy risks introduced by social networking in health care and presents a practical example that demonstrates how the risks might be intrinsic to some HSNS. The aim of this study is to identify and sketch the policy implications of using HSNS and how policy makers and stakeholders should elaborate upon them to protect the privacy of online health data. PMID:23599228
Fawcett, Stephen B.; Bernstein, Gail S.; Czyzewski, Mare J.; Greene, Brandon F.; Hannah, Gerald T.; Iwata, Brian A.; Jason, Leonard A.; Mathews, R. Mark; Morris, Edward K.; Otis-Wilborn, Amy; Seekins, Tom; Winett, Richard A.
The Task Force on Public Policy was created to examine ways for behavior analysts to be more functional citizen scientists in the policymaking arena. This report informs readers about the contexts and processes of policymaking; and it outlines issues regarding the roles of behavior analysts in crating policy-relevant conceptual analyses, generating research data, and communicating policy-relevant information. We also discuss a possible role for the professional association in enhancing analysis, research, and advocacy on policies relevant to the public interest. PMID:22477991
Ruger, Jennifer Prah
I trace the evolution of ethical approaches to health policy in the United States and examine a number of critical unresolved issues pertaining to the current set of frameworks. Several themes emerge. First, fair procedures claim more attention than substantive and procedural principles. Second, in the case of public deliberation, more focus has been placed on factors such as procedural mechanisms than on understanding how individuals and groups value different aspects of health and agree on health-related decisions. Third, the nation needs workable frameworks to guide collective choices about valuable social ends and their trade-offs; purely procedural strategies are limited in illuminating overarching health policy and ethics questions. There is a need to integrate consequential and procedural approaches to health ethics and policy.
I trace the evolution of ethical approaches to health policy in the United States and examine a number of critical unresolved issues pertaining to the current set of frameworks. Several themes emerge. First, fair procedures claim more attention than substantive and procedural principles. Second, in the case of public deliberation, more focus has been placed on factors such as procedural mechanisms than on understanding how individuals and groups value different aspects of health and agree on health-related decisions. Third, the nation needs workable frameworks to guide collective choices about valuable social ends and their trade-offs; purely procedural strategies are limited in illuminating overarching health policy and ethics questions. There is a need to integrate consequential and procedural approaches to health ethics and policy. PMID:18703449
Zaboli, Rouhollah; Seyedin, Seyed Hesam; Malmoon, Zainab
Background: Health is a complex phenomenon that can be studied from different approaches. Despite a growing research in the areas of Social Determinants of Health (SDH) and health equity, effects of macroeconomic policies on the social aspect of health are unknown in developing countries. This study aimed to determine the effect of macroeconomic policies on increasing of the social-health inequality in Iran. Methods: This study was a mixed method research. The study population consisted of experts dealing with social determinants of health. A purposive, stratified and non-random sampling method was used. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to collect the data along with a multiple attribute decision-making method for the quantitative phase of the research in which the Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) was employed for prioritization. The NVivo and MATLAB softwares were used for data analysis. Results: Seven main themes for the effect of macroeconomic policies on increasing the social-health inequality were identified. The result of TOPSIS approved that the inflation and economic instability exert the greatest impact on social-health inequality, with an index of 0.710 and the government policy in paying the subsidies with a 0.291 index has the lowest impact on social-health inequality in the country. Discussion: It is required to invest on the social determinants of health as a priority to reduce health inequality. Also, evaluating the extent to which the future macroeconomic policies impact the health of population is necessary. PMID:25197677
Unless the concept is clearly understood, "universal coverage" (or universal health coverage, UHC) can be used to justify practically any health financing reform or scheme. This paper unpacks the definition of health financing for universal coverage as used in the World Health Organization's World health report 2010 to show how UHC embodies specific health system goals and intermediate objectives and, broadly, how health financing reforms can influence these. All countries seek to improve equity in the use of health services, service quality and financial protection for their populations. Hence, the pursuit of UHC is relevant to every country. Health financing policy is an integral part of efforts to move towards UHC, but for health financing policy to be aligned with the pursuit of UHC, health system reforms need to be aimed explicitly at improving coverage and the intermediate objectives linked to it, namely, efficiency, equity in health resource distribution and transparency and accountability. The unit of analysis for goals and objectives must be the population and health system as a whole. What matters is not how a particular financing scheme affects its individual members, but rather, how it influences progress towards UHC at the population level. Concern only with specific schemes is incompatible with a universal coverage approach and may even undermine UHC, particularly in terms of equity. Conversely, if a scheme is fully oriented towards system-level goals and objectives, it can further progress towards UHC. Policy and policy analysis need to shift from the scheme to the system level.
... OFFICE Health Information Technology Policy Committee Appointment AGENCY: Government Accountability... Act of 2009 (ARRA) established the Health Information Technology Policy Committee to make recommendations on the implementation of a nationwide health information technology infrastructure to the...
Richardson, Jeff RJ
Background This paper is an edited version of an invited paper submitted to the Australian Health Care Summit on 17–19 August 2003. It comments upon the policies which have dominated recent debate and contrasts their importance with the importance of five issues which have received relatively little attention. Methods Policy is usually a response to identified problems and the paper examines the nature and size of the problems which heave led to recent policy initiatives. These are contrasted with the magnitude and potential cost effectiveness policies to address the problems in five areas of comparative neglect. Results It is argued that recent and proposed changes to the financing and delivery of health services in Australia have focused upon issues of relatively minor significance while failing to address adequately major inequities and system deficiencies. Conclusion There is a need for an independent review of the health system with the terms of reference focusing attention upon large system-wide failures. PMID:15679895
Heiman, Harry J; Smith, L Lerissa; McKool, Marissa; Mitchell, Denise N; Roth Bayer, Carey
The context within which health care and public health systems operate is framed by health policies. There is growing consensus about the need for increased health policy leadership and a health professional workforce prepared to assume these leadership roles. At the same time, there is strong evidence supporting the need for a broader policy lens and the need to intentionally target health disparities. We reviewed the published literature between 1983 and 2013 regarding health policy training. From 5124 articles identified, 33 met inclusion criteria. Articles varied across common themes including target audience, goal(s), health policy definition, and core curricular content. The majority of articles were directed to medical or nursing audiences. Most articles framed health policy as health care policy and only a small number adopted a broader health in all policies definition. Few articles specifically addressed vulnerable populations or health disparities. The need for more rigorous research and evaluation to inform health policy training is compelling. Providing health professionals with the knowledge and skills to engage and take leadership roles in health policy will require training programs to move beyond their limited health care-oriented health policy framework to adopt a broader health and health equity in all policies approach.
Heiman, Harry J.; Smith, L. Lerissa; McKool, Marissa; Mitchell, Denise N.; Roth Bayer, Carey
The context within which health care and public health systems operate is framed by health policies. There is growing consensus about the need for increased health policy leadership and a health professional workforce prepared to assume these leadership roles. At the same time, there is strong evidence supporting the need for a broader policy lens and the need to intentionally target health disparities. We reviewed the published literature between 1983 and 2013 regarding health policy training. From 5124 articles identified, 33 met inclusion criteria. Articles varied across common themes including target audience, goal(s), health policy definition, and core curricular content. The majority of articles were directed to medical or nursing audiences. Most articles framed health policy as health care policy and only a small number adopted a broader health in all policies definition. Few articles specifically addressed vulnerable populations or health disparities. The need for more rigorous research and evaluation to inform health policy training is compelling. Providing health professionals with the knowledge and skills to engage and take leadership roles in health policy will require training programs to move beyond their limited health care-oriented health policy framework to adopt a broader health and health equity in all policies approach. PMID:26703657
Vrangbaek, Karsten; Robertson, Ruth; Winblad, Ulrika; Van de Bovenkamp, Hester; Dixon, Anna
This paper compares the introduction of policies to promote or strengthen patient choice in four Northern European countries - Denmark, England, the Netherlands and Sweden. The paper examines whether there has been convergence in choice policies across Northern Europe. Following Christopher Pollitt's suggestion, the paper distinguishes between rhetorical (discursive) convergence, decision (design) convergence and implementation (operational) convergence (Pollitt, 2002). This leads to the following research question for the article: Is the introduction of policies to strengthen choice in the four countries characterised by discursive, decision and operational convergence? The paper concludes that there seems to be convergence among these four countries in the overall policy rhetoric about the objectives associated with patient choice, embracing both concepts of empowerment (the intrinsic value) and market competition (the instrumental value). It appears that the institutional context and policy concerns such as waiting times have been important in affecting the timing of the introduction of choice policies and implementation, but less so in the design of choice policies. An analysis of the impact of choice policies is beyond the scope of this paper, but it is concluded that further research should investigate how the institutional context and timing of implementation affect differences in how the choice policy works out in practice.
Hallingberg, B.; Fletcher, A.; Murphy, S.; Morgan, K.; Littlecott, H.J.; Roberts, C.
Background: Associations of the strength of school smoking policies with cigarette, e-cigarette and cannabis use in Wales were examined. Methods: Nationally representative cross-sectional survey of pupils aged 11–16 years (N=7376) in Wales. Senior management team members from 67 schools completed questionnaires about school smoking policies, substance use education and tobacco cessation initiatives. Multi-level, logistic regression analyses investigated self-reported cigarette, e-cigarette and cannabis use, for all students and those aged 15–16 years. Results: Prevalence of current smoking, e-cigarette use and cannabis use in the past month were 5.3%, 11.5% and 2.9%, respectively. Of schools that provided details about smoking policies (66/67), 39.4% were strong (written policy applied to everyone in all locations), 43.9% were moderate (written policy not applied to everyone in all locations) and 16.7% had no written policy. There was no evidence of an association of school smoking policies with pupils’ tobacco or e-cigarette use. However, students from schools with a moderate policy [OR = 0.47; 95% (confidence interval) CI: 0.26–0.84] were less likely to have used cannabis in the past month compared to schools with no written policy. This trend was stronger for students aged 15–16 years (moderate policy: OR = 0.42; 95% CI: 0.22–0.80; strong policy: OR = 0.45; 95% CI: 0.23–0.87). Conclusions: School smoking policies may exert less influence on young people’s smoking behaviours than they did during times of higher adolescent smoking prevalence. Longitudinal studies are needed to examine the potential influence of school smoking policies on cannabis use and mechanisms explaining this association. PMID:27335332
Michaud, Josh; Kates, Jennifer
Attention to global health diplomacy has been rising but the future holds challenges, including a difficult budgetary environment. Going forward, both global health and foreign policy practitioners would benefit from working more closely together to achieve greater mutual understanding and to advance respective mutual goals.
Borrell, Carme; Morrison, Joana; Burstrom, Bo; Pons-Vigués, Mariona; Hoffmann, Rasmus; Gandarillas, Ana; Martikainen, Pekka; Domínguez-Berjón, M Felicitas; Tarkiainen, Lasse; Díez, Elia
Health policies are specified in documents that contain values, objectives, strategies, and interventions to be implemented. The objective of our study was to analyse health policy documents of six European cities and one county council published around 2010 to determine (i) how cities conceptualize health inequalities, and (ii) what strategies are proposed to reduce them. We performed a qualitative document analysis. We selected Health or Health Inequalities policy documents and analysed the following aspects: general characteristics of the document, inclusion and definition of health inequalities, promotion of good governance and participation, number of objectives, and evaluation. We also described specific objectives. Rotterdam, London, and Stockholm use a conceptual framework. Two of them define health inequalities as a social gradient. Intersectoral action, participation, and evaluation are included in most documents. Interventions focus mainly on the socioeconomic context.
Heaney, Michael T
Assuming a position as broker between disconnected interests is one way for an interest group to influence the making of federal health policy. This study demonstrates how groups use their connections with political parties and lobbying coalitions to augment their brokerage positions and enhance their influence over policy making. Evidence is drawn from statistical analysis of 263 interviews with health policy elites and a qualitative case study of the debate over the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003. The results explain, in part, how interest groups play their brokerage roles as dispersed actors in a decentralized system, rather than as central mediators that intervene in a wide range of policy disputes.
Chavkin, W; Romero, D; Wise, P H
OBJECTIVES: This study sought to determine whether there is a relationship between state policies on Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), declines in both TANF and Medicaid caseloads, and the rise in the number of uninsured. METHODS: Extant data sources of state TANF policies, TANF and Medicaid participation, and uninsurance rates were analyzed, with the state as the unit of analysis. The independent variables included state TANF policies that directly address receipt of benefits or relate to health; dependent variables included changes in state TANF enrollment, Medicaid enrollment, and health insurance status since the enactment of the law. RESULTS: In the bivariate analysis, declines in Medicaid were associated with sanction for work noncompliance, lack of a child care guarantee, and strategies to deter TANF enrollment; this last factor was also associated with increased uninsurance. In the multivariate analysis, lack of a child care guarantee and deterrent strategies predicted TANF declines; deterrent strategies predicted Medicaid decline and uninsurance increases. CONCLUSIONS: This analysis suggests that policies deterring TANF enrollment may contribute to declines in Medicaid and increased uninsurance. To maintain health insurance for the poor, policymakers should consider revising policies that deter TANF enrollment. PMID:10846507
Agartan, Tuba I
The health care industry is labor intensive and depends on well-trained and appropriately deployed health professionals to deliver services. This article examines the health workforce challenges in the context of Turkey's recent health reform initiative, Health Transformation Program (HTP). Reformers identified shortages, imbalances in the skills-mix, and inequities in the geographical distribution of health professionals as among the major problems. A comprehensive set of policies was implemented within the HTP framework to address these problems. The article argues that these policies addressed some of the health workforce challenges, while on the other hand exacerbating others and hence may have resulted in increasing the burden on the workforce. So far HTP's governance reforms and health human resource policy have not encouraged meaningful participation of other key stakeholders in the governance of the health care system. Without effective participation of health professionals, the next stages of HTP implementation that focus on managerial reforms such as restructuring public hospitals, improving the primary care system and implementing new initiatives on quality improvement could be very difficult.
Leow, Anthony Chee Siong
As one of the most important sites in and through which state agendas are articulated and disseminated, schools and teachers play critical roles in the implementation of state-driven policies and initiatives targeted at children and young people. This is especially pertinent in the current educational landscape where schools and teachers are…
How is radical change in global health policy possible? Material factors such as economics or human resources are important, but ideational factors such as ideas and discourse play an important role as well. In this paper, I apply a theoretical framework to show how discourse made it possible for public and private actors to fundamentally change their way of working together--to shift from international public and private interactions to global health partnerships (GHPs)--and in the process create a new institutional mechanism for governing global health. Drawing on insights from constructivist analysis, I demonstrate how discourse justified, legitimised, communicated and coordinated ideas about the practice of GHPs through a concentrated network of partnership pioneers. As attention from health policy analysts turns increasingly to ideational explanations for answers to global health problems, this paper contributes to the debate by showing how, precisely, discourse makes change possible.
Luis Schwab, Gerson; Tetu Moysés, Simone; Helena Sottile França, Beatriz; Iani Werneck, Renata; Frank, Erica; Jorge Moysés, Samuel
The global health scenario shows an epidemic of non-communicable diseases that lead to long-term chronic conditions, some of which are incurable. Many infectious diseases, owing to their development and length, also generate chronic conditions. Similarly, non-morbid states, such as pregnancy, and some life cycles such as adolescence and ageing, follow the same logic. Among all these chronic conditions there is a significant interrelationship with oral health, both in parallel events and common risk factors. This article presents cross-sectional qualitative research into World Health Organisation recommended health policies to address chronic conditions. Several documents published by the organisation were analysed to verify the presence of references to oral health in relation to chronic conditions, particularly cardiovascular diseases and diabetes as these most frequently have oral manifestations. The analysis showed no significant references to oral health or its indicators within the published texts. The study recognises the value of the work developed by the World Health Organisation, as well as its worldwide leadership role in the development of health policies for chronic conditions. This article proposes a coalition of dentistry organisations that could, in a more forceful and collective way, advocate for a greater presence of oral health in drafting policies addressing chronic conditions.
Green, Andrew; Gerein, Nancy; Mirzoev, Tolib; Bird, Philippa; Pearson, Stephen; Anh, Le Vu; Martineau, Tim; Mukhopadhyay, Maitrayee; Qian, Xu; Ramani, K V; Soors, Werner
This article reports on a comparative analysis to assess and explain the strengths and weaknesses of policy processes based on 9 case-studies of maternal health in Vietnam, India and China. Policy processes are often slow, inadequately coordinated and opaque to outsiders. Use of evidence is variable and, in particular, could be more actively used to assess different policy options. Whilst an increasing range of actors are involved, there is scope for further opening up of the policy processes. This is likely, if appropriately managed with due regard to issues such as accountability of advocacy organisations, to lead to stronger policy development and greater subsequent ownership; it may however be a more messy process to co-ordinate. Coordination is critical where policy issues span conventional sectoral boundaries, but is also essential to ensure development of policy considers critical health system and resource issues. This, and other features related to the nature of a specific policy issue, suggests the need both to adapt processes for each particular policy issue and to monitor the progress of the policy processes themselves. The article concludes with specific questions to be considered by actors keen to enhance policy processes.
Mercy, J A; Rosenberg, M L; Powell, K E; Broome, C V; Roper, W L
The current epidemic of violence in America threatens not only our physical health but also the integrity of basic social institutions such as the family, the communities in which we live, and our health care system. Public health brings a new vision of how Americans can work together to prevent violence. This new vision places emphasis on preventing violence before it occurs, making science integral to identifying effective policies and programs, and integrating the efforts of diverse scientific disciplines, organizations, and communities. A sustained effort at all levels of society will be required to successfully address this complex and deeply rooted problem.
Frank, Richard G; Conti, Rena M; Goldman, Howard H
The pace of innovation in psychotropic drugs has been rapid over the past 15 years. There also have been unprecedented increases in spending on prescription drugs generally and psychotropic medications specifically. Psychotropic medications are playing a more central role in treatment. They also are receiving close scrutiny from health insurers, state budget makers, and ordinary citizens. Public policy actions regarding prescription drugs have the potential to significantly affect clinical care for mental disorders, the costs of this care to individuals and society at large, and the prospects for future scientific advances. This article outlines the policy issues related to psychotropic drugs with respect to their role in determining access to mental health treatment and the cost and quality of mental health care.
Holden, Carol A; Lin, Vivian
While focussing on influential actors within a policy network may provide insight into the shaping of policy, it fails to elucidate how the network itself may moderate the behaviours of actors when participating in the policy process. Applying Skok's (1995) structural-functional framework, this study explores whether network analysis provides an alternative analytical approach to explain how the broader structural features of the network may influence actors participating in different functional phases of the policy cycle. To illustrate the rationale for a network analysis approach to policy analysis, we introduce the 2010 Australian National Male Health Policy, as an illustrative case of a network of competing interests within the broader health policy domain. An analysis of the associated men's health network and the network structures that exist for different relational purposes identified a weak (low density) network, which lacked a hierarchical structure, and where levels of reciprocity between actors was low. Network characteristics changed depending on the relationship type between actors, highlighting the dynamic nature of networks and reflecting the different imperatives of the policy process. An understanding of network structures gained from the network analysis approach described in this study potentially provides policy-makers, and stakeholders, with an alternative tool to stakeholder analysis when considering engagement with the policy process.
Dussault, Gilles; Dubois, Carl-Ardy
In the last few years, increasing attention has been paid to the development of health policies. But side by side with the presumed benefits of policy, many analysts share the opinion that a major drawback of health policies is their failure to make room for issues of human resources. Current approaches in human resources suggest a number of weaknesses: a reactive, ad hoc attitude towards problems of human resources; dispersal of accountability within human resources management (HRM); a limited notion of personnel administration that fails to encompass all aspects of HRM; and finally the short-term perspective of HRM. There are three broad arguments for modernizing the ways in which human resources for health are managed: • the central role of the workforce in the health sector; • the various challenges thrown up by health system reforms; • the need to anticipate the effect on the health workforce (and consequently on service provision) arising from various macroscopic social trends impinging on health systems. The absence of appropriate human resources policies is responsible, in many countries, for a chronic imbalance with multifaceted effects on the health workforce: quantitative mismatch, qualitative disparity, unequal distribution and a lack of coordination between HRM actions and health policy needs. Four proposals have been put forward to modernize how the policy process is conducted in the development of human resources for health (HRH): • to move beyond the traditional approach of personnel administration to a more global concept of HRM; • to give more weight to the integrated, interdependent and systemic nature of the different components of HRM when preparing and implementing policy; • to foster a more proactive attitude among human resources (HR) policy-makers and managers; • to promote the full commitment of all professionals and sectors in all phases of the process. The development of explicit human resources policies is a crucial link
Mladovsky, Philipa; Rechel, Bernd; Ingleby, David; McKee, Martin
There has been growing international attention to migrant health, reflecting recognition of the need for health systems to adapt to increasingly diverse populations. However, reports from health policy experts in 25 European countries suggest that by 2009 only eleven countries had established national policies to improve migrant health that go beyond migrants' statutory or legal entitlement to care. The objective of this paper is to compare and contrast the content of these policies and analyse their strengths and limitations. The analysis suggests that most of the national policies target either migrants or more established ethnic minorities. Countries should address the diverse needs of both groups and could learn from "intercultural" health care policies in Ireland and, in the past, the Netherlands. Policies in several countries prioritise specific diseases or conditions, but these differ and it is not clear whether they accurately reflect real differences in need among countries. Policy initiatives typically involve training health workers, providing interpreter services and/or 'cultural mediators', adapting organizational culture, improving data collection and providing information to migrants on health problems and services. A few countries stand out for their quest to increase migrants' health literacy and their participation in the development and implementation of policy. Progressive migrant health policies are not always sustainable as they can be undermined or even reversed when political contexts change. The analysis of migrant health policies in Europe is still in its infancy and there is an urgent need to monitor the implementation and evaluate the effectiveness of these diverse policies.
Indonesia is an international showpiece of successful population control. The number of desired acceptors of family planning is fixed by a coordinating board in cooperation with international advisers including the World Bank. More than 95% of the actual acceptors or users of contraceptives are women rather than couples. Numerical targets are set for districts, subdistricts, villages and hamlets; and local administrators are charged with the execution of the program. Ambitious village or district leaders use a variety of incentives and disincentives to comply with these directives issued by superiors. "2 children is enough" is the slogan on ubiquitous posters in the archipelago. A woman who is pregnant for a 3rd time may face scorn in her village. Although family planning has succeeded in averting births, maternal mortality rates in Indonesia are among the highest in the world. 55% of Indonesian women suffer from anaemia, particularly pregnant or breast feeding women. In principle there is free choice of contraceptives, but effective means such as hormonal implants, IUDs, and sterilization are promoted instead of pills and barrier methods. Thus, a program originally designed to be sensitive to community concerns runs the risk of becoming an oppressive system. Under the rhetoric of human development the quality of family planning services should be improved, the status of women raised by better education and more employment opportunities, no discrimination, and better health services. The aim of United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is to extend modern family planning services to 567 million couples, 59% of all married women of reproductive age, by the age 2000. The contraceptive needs of unmarried women have been ignored again, while the plight of unmarried pregnant women has probably increased by increasing violence and wars.
Maree, Gina; Schrandt, Suzanne; Soderquist, Chris; Steffensmeier, Tim; St. Peter, Robert
We describe a unique program, the Kansas Legislative Health Academy, that brings together state legislators from across the political spectrum to build their capacity in advancing policies that can improve the health of Kansans. To that end, the academy helps legislators develop new skills to deliberate the ethics of health policy, use systems thinking to understand the long- and short-term effects of policy action and inaction, and engage in acts of civic leadership. The academy also seeks to foster an environment of respectful open dialogue and to build new cross-chamber and cross-party relationships. Among the most important outcomes cited by program participants is the value of sustained, personal interaction and problem solving with individuals holding differing political views. PMID:25607945
Joshi, Pamela; Geronimo, Kimberly; Acevedo-Garcia, Dolores
Although social and economic policies are not considered part of health services infrastructure, such policies may influence health and disease by altering social determinants of health (SDH). We review social and economic policies in the US that have measured health outcomes among adults in four domains of SDH including housing and neighborhood, employment, family strengthening/marriage, and income supplementation. The majority of these policies target low-income populations. These social policies rarely consider health as their initial mission or outcomes. When measuring health, the programs document mental health and physical health benefits more than half the time, although some effects fade with time. We also find considerable segregation of program eligibility by gender and family composition. Policy makers should design future social policies to evaluate health outcomes using validated health measures; to target women more broadly across the socioeconomic spectrum; and to consider family caregiving responsibilities as ignoring them can have unintended health effects. PMID:25984439
Osypuk, Theresa L; Joshi, Pamela; Geronimo, Kimberly; Acevedo-Garcia, Dolores
Although social and economic policies are not considered part of health services infrastructure, such policies may influence health and disease by altering social determinants of health (SDH). We review social and economic policies in the US that have measured health outcomes among adults in four domains of SDH including housing and neighborhood, employment, family strengthening/marriage, and income supplementation. The majority of these policies target low-income populations. These social policies rarely consider health as their initial mission or outcomes. When measuring health, the programs document mental health and physical health benefits more than half the time, although some effects fade with time. We also find considerable segregation of program eligibility by gender and family composition. Policy makers should design future social policies to evaluate health outcomes using validated health measures; to target women more broadly across the socioeconomic spectrum; and to consider family caregiving responsibilities as ignoring them can have unintended health effects.
Healthcare represents a key area in the public agenda. In the case of Chile, this central part of citizen demands has emerged with an increasing criticism of the health system, its actors and institutions, while a major democratic and legitimacy crisis in Chilean society unfolds. The starting point of this analysis is the link between the critical and widespread societal dissatisfaction with the legitimacy crisis in the health sector. There is an interdependence and parallelism between these two different aspects of the crisis. The analysis is built around the dimensions of trust and legitimacy as a potential driver of the conflict, taking as an analytical framework the socio-political matrix. Conceptual elements around the ideas of trust and legitimacy in public policies are reviewed. This article focuses on recent situations surrounding the dynamics of the Chilean health system such as the rise of the Instituciones de Salud Previsional (ISAPRE) and the market-driven health system, the failed health care reform of the last decade, conflicts of interest in the formulation of public policies, loss of legitimacy of healthcare authorities, and the role of the health professionals in this process. Finally, a discussion arises seeking to regain public trust as a central issue for the future development and sustainability of health policies.
Bento, Antonio M; Klotz, Richard
Lifecycle analysis (LCA) metrics of greenhouse gas emissions are increasingly being used to select technologies supported by climate policy. However, LCAs typically evaluate the emissions associated with a technology or product, not the impacts of policies. Here, we show that policies supporting the same technology can lead to dramatically different emissions impacts per unit of technology added, due to multimarket responses to the policy. Using a policy-based consequential LCA, we find that the lifecycle emissions impacts of four US biofuel policies range from a reduction of 16.1 gCO2e to an increase of 24.0 gCO2e per MJ corn ethanol added by the policy. The differences between these results and representative technology-based LCA measures, which do not account for the policy instrument driving the expansion in the technology, illustrate the need for policy-based LCA measures when informing policy decision making.
Becerra, Carlos; Herrera, Tania
Health workers are crucial to the performance of a health system. Their situation is critical and this has been recognized as a global problem. The main challenges are their number, distribution, skills and performance conditions. Addressing these issues must necessarily involve a multifactorial, intersectoral and international approach, where determinant factors are: educational policies, forms of recruitment, permanency and termination of contract, issues that arise throughout their working cycle. In Chile, the management of health workers does not follow a comprehensive outlook. The type, number and distribution of technicians and professionals do not respond to a nationwide planning strategy, and there is no coordination between health authorities and universities. The result is that the system is not responding to the health needs of the population, nor is fulfilling the promise of a public service career that encourages good performance, investing in its human resources.
Loyola, Maria Andréa
Since the 1970s the Brazilian government has made efforts to implement a pharmaceutical policy that, in spite of a market predominantly oligopolized and dominated by multinational pharmaceutical industries, guarantees access to essential drugs for the population. In this context, in 1999, a law regarding generics was approved. This article aims at analyzing the elements that interfered in the implementation process of this law. Based on specialized bibliography, on the debate in the Brazilian press (1992-2002) and on interviews with industry members, physicians, politicians, activists and civil servants we try to show that the implementation of generics in Brazil is strongly related to the AIDS epidemic. More precisely, it is related to the successful health policy against this disease involving different actors and a variety of elements to be analyzed here, among them the policy of copycat versions of drugs, the law of universal access to anti-AIDS drugs, the struggle of organized social movements, the governmental bureaucracy implemented for fighting this epidemic and the strong mobilization of the media.
Ivanova, Olena; Dræbel, Tania; Tellier, Siri
Background: Health policies are important instruments for improving population health. However, experience suggests that policies designed for the whole population do not always benefit the most vulnerable. Participation of vulnerable groups in the policy-making process provides an opportunity for them to influence decisions related to their health, and also to exercise their rights. This paper presents the findings from a study that explored how vulnerable groups and principles of human rights are incorporated into national sexual and reproductive health (SRH) policies of 4 selected countries (Spain, Scotland, Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine). It also aimed at discussing the involvement of vulnerable groups in SRH policy development from the perspective of policy-makers. Methods: Literature review, health policy analysis and 5 semi-structured interviews with policy-makers were carried out in this study. Content analysis of SRH policies was performed using the EquiFrame analytical framework. Results: The study revealed that vulnerable groups and core principles of human rights are differently addressed in SRH policies within 4 studied countries. The opinions of policy-makers on the importance of mentioning vulnerable groups in policy documents and the way they ought to be mentioned varied, but they agreed that a clear definition of vulnerability, practical examples, and evidences on health status of these groups have to be included. In addition, different approaches to vulnerable group’s involvement in policy development were identified during the interviews and the range of obstacles to this process was discussed by respondents. Conclusion: Incorporation of vulnerable groups in the SRH policies and their involvement in policy development were found to be important in addressing SRH of these groups and providing an opportunity for them to advocate for equal access to healthcare and exercise their rights. Future research on this topic should include
Bernier, Nicole F; Clavier, Carole
The past few years have seen the emergence of claims that the political determinants of health do not get due consideration and a growing demand for better insights into public policy analysis in the health research field. Several public health and health promotion researchers are calling for better training and a stronger research culture in health policy. The development of these studies tends to be more advanced in health promotion than in other areas of public health research, but researchers are still commonly caught in a naïve, idealistic and narrow view of public policy. This article argues that the political science discipline has developed a specific approach to public policy analysis that can help to open up unexplored levers of influence for public health research and practice and that can contribute to a better understanding of public policy as a determinant of health. It describes and critiques the public health model of policy analysis, analyzes political science's specific approach to public policy analysis, and discusses how the politics of research provides opportunities and barriers to the integration of political science's distinctive contributions to policy analysis in health promotion.
The growth in undocumented immigration in the United States has garnered increasing interest in the arenas of immigration and health care policy reform. Undocumented immigrants are restricted from accessing public health and social service as a result of their immigration status. The Patient Protection and Affordability Care Act restricts undocumented immigrants from participating in state exchange insurance market places, further limiting them from accessing equitable health care services. This commentary calls for comprehensive policy reform that expands access to health care for undocumented immigrants based on an analysis of immigrant health policies and their impact on health care expenditures, public health, and the role of health care providers. The intersectional nature of immigration and health care policy emphasizes the need for nurse policymakers to advocate for comprehensive policy reform aimed at improving the health and well-being of immigrants and the nation as a whole.
Khang, Young-Ho; Lee, Sang-il
In recent years, health inequalities have become an important public health concern and the subject of both research and policy attention in Korea. Government reports, as well as many epidemiological studies, have provided evidence that a wide range of health outcomes and health-related behaviors are socioeconomically patterned, and that the magnitude of health inequalities is even increasing. However, except for the revised Health Plan 2010 targets for health equity, few government policies have explicitly addressed health inequalities. Although a number of economic and social policies may have had an impact on health inequalities, such impact has scarcely been evaluated. In this review, we describe the current status of research and policy on health inequalities in Korea. We also suggest future challenges of approaches and policies to reduce health inequalities and highlight the active and intensive engagement of many policy sectors and good evidence for interventions that will make meaningful reduction of health inequalities possible.
In recent years, health inequalities have become an important public health concern and the subject of both research and policy attention in Korea. Government reports, as well as many epidemiological studies, have provided evidence that a wide range of health outcomes and health-related behaviors are socioeconomically patterned, and that the magnitude of health inequalities is even increasing. However, except for the revised Health Plan 2010 targets for health equity, few government policies have explicitly addressed health inequalities. Although a number of economic and social policies may have had an impact on health inequalities, such impact has scarcely been evaluated. In this review, we describe the current status of research and policy on health inequalities in Korea. We also suggest future challenges of approaches and policies to reduce health inequalities and highlight the active and intensive engagement of many policy sectors and good evidence for interventions that will make meaningful reduction of health inequalities possible. PMID:22661869
Low, M David; Low, Barbara J; Baumler, Elizabeth R; Huynh, Phuong T
Research on the social determinants of health has demonstrated robust correlations between several social factors, health status, and life expectancy. Some of these factors could be modified through policy intervention. National-level public policies explicitly based on population health research are in various stages of development in many Western countries, but in spite of evident need, seemingly not at all in the United States. Because research shows such a strong association between education and good health, we offer evidence to show that at least two pressing problems in American society, namely the uneven distribution of educational attainment and health disparities linked to socioeconomic position, may be ameliorated through policy initiatives that link quality early childhood care, child development programs, and parental training in a seamless continuum with strengthened K-12 education.
Background Understanding the health policy formulation process over the years has focused on the content of policy to the neglect of context. This had led to several policy initiatives having a still birth or ineffective policy choices with sub-optimal outcomes when implemented. Sometimes, the difficulty has been finding congruence between different values and interests of the various stakeholders. How can policy initiators leverage the various subtle mechanisms that various players draw on to leverage their interests during policy formulation. This paper attempts to conceptualise these levers of policy formulation to enhance an understanding of this field of work based on lived experience. Methodology This is a qualitative participant observation case study based on retrospective recollection of the policy process and political levers involved in developing the Ghana National Health Insurance Scheme. The study uses a four-concept framework which is agenda setting, symbols manipulation, constituency preservation and coalition building to capture the various issues, negotiations and nuanced approaches used in arriving at desired outcomes. Results Technical experts, civil society, academicians and politicians all had significant influence on setting the health insurance agenda. Each of these various stakeholders carefully engaged in ways that preserved their constituency interests through explicit manoeuvres and subtle engagements. Where proposals lend themselves to various interpretations, stakeholders were quick to latch on the contentious issues to preserve their constituency and will manipulate the symbols that arise from the proposals to their advantage. Where interests are contested and the price of losing out will leave government worse off which will favour its political opponent, it will push for divergent interests outside parliamentary politics through intense negotiations to build coalitions so a particular policy may pass. Conclusions This paper has
While health policies are a major focus in disciplines such as public health and public policy, there is a dearth of work on the histories, social contexts, and personalities behind the development of these policies. This article takes an anthropological approach to the study of a health policy's origins, based on ethnographic research conducted in Bolivia between 2010 and 2012. Bolivia began a process of health care reform in 2006, following the election of Evo Morales Ayma, the country's first indigenous president, and leader of the Movement Toward Socialism (Movimiento al Socialism). Brought into power through the momentum of indigenous social movements, the MAS government platform addressed racism, colonialism, and human rights in a number of major reforms, with a focus on cultural identity and indigeneity. One of the MAS's projects was the design of a new national health policy in 2008 called The Family Community Intercultural Health Policy (Salud Familiar Comunitaria Intercultural). This policy aimed to address major health inequities through primary care in a country that is over 60% indigenous. Methods used were interviews with Bolivian policymakers and other stakeholders, participant observation at health policy conferences and in rural community health programs that served as models for aspects of the policy, and document analysis to identify core premises and ideological areas. I argue that health policies are historical both in their relationship to national contexts and events on a timeline, but also because of the ways they intertwine with participants' personal histories, theoretical frameworks, and reflections on national historical events. By studying the Bolivian policymaking process, and particularly those who helped design the policy, it is possible to understand how and why particular progressive ideas were able to translate into policy. More broadly, this work also suggests how a uniquely anthropological approach to the study of health policy
Small, Meg L.; Jones, Sherry Everett; Barrios, Lisa C.; Crossett, Linda S.; Dahlberg, Linda L.; Albuquerque, Melissa S.; Sleet, David A.; Greene, Brenda Z.; Schmidt, Ellen R.
Uses data from the School Health Policies and Programs Study 2000 to describe state- and district-level policy support and coordination and state- and district-level policies regarding school environment, injury prevention, and substance use and violence prevention, noting school-level policies and practices in those areas, policies to inform…
Ogden, Jessica; Morrison, Ken; Hardee, Karen
This article recounts the development of a model for social capital building developed over the course of interventions focused on HIV-related stigma and discrimination, safe motherhood and reproductive health. Through further engagement with relevant literature, it explores the nature of social capital and suggests why undertaking such a process can enhance health policy and programmes, advocacy and governance for improved health systems strengthening (HSS) outcomes. The social capital process proposed facilitates the systematic and effective inclusion of community voices in the health policy process-strengthening programme effectiveness as well as health system accountability and governance. Because social capital building facilitates communication and the uptake of new ideas, norms and standards within and between professional communities of practice, it can provide an important mechanism for integration both within and between sectors-a process long considered a 'wicked problem' for health policy-makers. The article argues that the systematic application of social capital building, from bonding through bridging into linking social capital, can greatly enhance the ability of governments and their partners to achieve their HSS goals.
Objective: The development of evidence-based health policy is challenging. This study has attempted to identify some of the underpinning factors that promote the development of evidence based health policy. Methods: A preliminary systematic literature review of published reviews with "evidence based health policy" in their title was conducted…
Williams, Carolyn A.
It is important that nurses, particularly those who consider themselves community health nursing specialists, assign a high priority to participation in the formation of health policy and broader public policy. To put subsequent remarks about policy into perspective, it is useful to consider the case for seeing community health nursing as…
Forest and colleagues have persuasively made the case that policy capacity is a fundamental prerequisite to health reform. They offer a comprehensive life-cycle definition of policy capacity and stress that it involves much more than problem identification and option development. I would like to offer a Canadian perspective. If we define health reform as re-orienting the health system from acute care to prevention and chronic disease management the consensus is that Canada has been unsuccessful in achieving a major transformation of our 14 health systems (one for each province and territory plus the federal government). I argue that 3 additional things are essential to build health policy capacity in a healthcare federation such as Canada: (a) A means of "policy governance" that would promote an approach to cooperative federalism in the health arena; (b) The ability to overcome the "policy inertia" resulting from how Canadian Medicare was implemented and subsequently interpreted; and (c) The ability to entertain a long-range thinking and planning horizon. My assessment indicates that Canada falls short on each of these items, and the prospects for achieving them are not bright. However, hope springs eternal and it will be interesting to see if the July, 2015 report of the Advisory Panel on Healthcare Innovation manages to galvanize national attention and stimulate concerted action.
Göttems, Leila Bernardo Donato; Evangelista, Maria do Socorro Nantua; Pires, Maria Raquel Gomes Maia; Silva, Aline Ferreira Melgaço da; Silva, Priscila Avelino da
This article analyzes the history of primary health care policy in the Federal District, Brazil, based on the theoretical framework of historical neo-institutionalism, identifying the predominant configurations and trends in the various administrations of the State Health Secretariat (SES-DF) from 1960 to 2007. The study indicates that the characteristics of the Federal District's health policy are dependent on the history of the original health system plans for setting priorities and goals, as well as for the health system's implementation. This influence, in addition to the centralization of decision-making processes and limited political participation, can contribute to making primary care ancillary to hospital care, thus jeopardizing its potential to produce change in the health care model.
Mock, Nancy B.; And Others
The use of case-control methodology as an applied policy/planning research tool in assessing the potential effectiveness of behavioral interventions is studied in connection with diarrhea control in Zaire. Results with 107 matched pairs of children demonstrate the importance of hygiene-related knowledge and the utility of the research approach.…
Objective To apply social science theory so as to define more explicitly the pathways that influence policy makers' use of health services research. Methods The analysis builds on a literature review and the author's observations. It identifies important social science concepts relevant to use of research in policy and organizational decision making. It integrates and expands upon existing frameworks to differentiate and analyze 10 pathways that can lead to the use of health services research by policy makers. Principal Findings The process through which research is applied involves many factors, only some of which are amenable to influence by researchers. Within these constraints, multiple pathways can drive research use; no one of these is likely to perform better in all circumstances. Successful uptake is more likely when these pathways cause findings to be converted into messages meaningful to policy makers. Various intermediaries play an important role in creating effective pathways, while users also can influence them. Conclusions The pathways open up what too often is an unexplored “black box” that mediates between health services research and its use by policy makers. Such pathways can help stakeholders to bridge different perspectives in ways that strengthen the possibility that effective research will be supported and used. PMID:19490163
Background Global Health Initiatives (GHIs), aiming at reducing the impact of specific diseases such as Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), have flourished since 2000. Amongst these, PEPFAR and GFATM have provided a substantial amount of funding to countries affected by HIV, predominantly for delivery of antiretroviral therapy (ARV) and prevention strategies. Since the need for additional human resources for health (HRH) was not initially considered by GHIs, countries, to allow ARV scale-up, implemented short-term HRH strategies, adapted to GHI-funding conditionality. Such strategies differed from one country to another and slowly evolved to long-term HRH policies. The processes and content of HRH policy shifts in 5 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa were examined. Methods A multi-country study was conducted from 2007 to 2011 in 5 countries (Angola, Burundi, Lesotho, Mozambique and South Africa), to assess the impact of GHIs on the health system, using a mixed methods design. This paper focuses on the impact of GFATM and PEPFAR on HRH policies. Qualitative data consisted of semi-structured interviews undertaken at national and sub-national levels and analysis of secondary data from national reports. Data were analysed in order to extract countries’ responses to HRH challenges posed by implementation of HIV-related activities. Common themes across the 5 countries were selected and compared in light of each country context. Results In all countries successful ARV roll-out was observed, despite HRH shortages. This was a result of mostly short-term emergency response by GHI-funded Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and to a lesser extent by governments, consisting of using and increasing available HRH for HIV tasks. As challenges and limits of short-term HRH strategies were revealed and HIV became a chronic disease, the 5 countries slowly implemented mid to long-term HRH strategies, such as formalisation of pilot initiatives, increase in HRH production and mitigation
Glass, Gene V., Ed.
This document consists of the 21 articles published in the electronic journal "Education Policy Analysis Archives" for the year 1996. The articles are: (1) "The Political Legacy of School Accountability Systems" (Sherman Dorn); (2) "Review of Stephen Arons's 'Short Route to Chaos'" (Charles L. Glenn); (3)…
Argues that the application of policy analysis to technology assessment requires the abandonment of stereotyped approaches and a reformulation of analytical paradigms to include consideration of institutional constraints. Available from: Elsevier Scientific Publishing Company, Box 211, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, single copies available.…
Abiiro, Gilbert Abotisem; McIntyre, Di
Extending coverage to the informal sector is a key challenge to achieving universal coverage through contributory health insurance schemes. Ghana introduced a mandatory National Health Insurance system in 2004 to provide financial protection for both the formal and informal sectors through a combination of taxes and annual premium payments. As part of its election promise in 2008, the current government (then in opposition) promised to make the payment of premiums 'one-time'. This has been a very controversial policy issue in Ghana. This study sought to contribute to assessing the feasibility of the proposed policy by exploring the understandings of various stakeholders on the policy, their interests or concerns, potential positions, power and influences on it, as well as the general prospects and challenges for its implementation. Data were gathered from a review of relevant documents in the public domain, 28 key informant interviews and six focus group discussions with key stakeholders in Accra and two other districts. The results show that there is a lot of confusion in stakeholders' understanding of the policy issue, and, because of the uncertainties surrounding it, most powerful stakeholders are yet to take clear positions on it. However, stakeholders raised concerns that revolved around issues such as: the meaning of a one-time premium within an insurance scheme context, the affordability of the one-time premium, financing sources and sustainability of the policy, as well as the likely impact of the policy on equity in access to health care. Policy-makers need to clearly explain the meaning of the one-time premium policy and how it will be funded, and critically consider the concerns raised by stakeholders before proceeding with further attempts to implement it. For other countries planning universal coverage reforms, it is important that the terminology of their reforms clearly reflects policy objectives.
Congress of the U.S., Washington, DC. Office of Technology Assessment.
This case study was conducted to analyze the cost-effectiveness of nurse practitioners (NPs), physicians' assistants (PAs), and certified nurse midwives (CNMs) by examining (1) the contributions of each group in meeting health-care needs; (2) the effect of changing the method of payment for their services on the health-care delivery system; and…
Brennan, Alan; Meier, Petra; Purshouse, Robin; Rafia, Rachid; Meng, Yang; Hill-Macmanus, Daniel
This paper sets out the development of a methodological framework for detailed evaluation of public health strategies for alcohol harm reduction to meet UK policy-makers needs. Alcohol is known to cause substantial harms, and controlling its affordability and availability are effective policy options. Analysis and synthesis of a variety of public and commercial data sources is needed to evaluate impact on consumers, health services, crime, employers and industry, so a sound evaluation of impact is important. We discuss the iterative process to engage with stakeholders, identify evidence/data and develop analytic approaches and produce a final model structure. We set out a series of steps in modelling impact including: classification and definition of population subgroups of interest, identification and definition of harms and outcomes for inclusion, classification of modifiable components of risk and their baseline values, specification of the baseline position on policy variables especially prices, estimating effects of changing policy variables on risk factors including price elasticities, quantifying risk functions relating risk factors to harms including 47 health conditions, crimes, absenteeism and unemployment, and monetary valuation. The most difficult model structuring decisions are described, as well as the final results framework used to provide decision support to national level policymakers in the UK. In the discussion we explore issues around the relationship between modelling and policy debates, valuation and scope, limitations of evidence/data, how the framework can be adapted to other countries and decisions. We reflect on the approach taken and outline ongoing plans for further development.
Brindis, Claire D; Moore, Kristin
Many US policies that affect health are made at the state, not the federal, level. Identifying state-level policies and data to analyze how different policies affect outcomes may help policy makers ascertain the usefulness of their public policies and funding decisions in improving the health of adolescent populations. A framework for describing and assessing the role of federal and state policies on adolescent health and well-being is proposed; an example of how the framework might be applied to the issue of teen childbearing is included. Such a framework can also help inform analyses of whether and how state and federal policies contribute to the variation across states in meeting adolescent health needs. A database on state policies, contextual variables, and health outcomes data can further enable researchers and policy makers to examine how these factors are associated with behaviors they aim to impact.
Fahy, Declan; Trench, Brian; Clancy, Luke
The Irish workplace smoking ban has been described as possibly a tipping point for public health worldwide. This article presents the first analysis of the newspaper coverage of the ban over the duration of the policy formation process. It adds to previous studies by analyzing how health communication strategists engaged, over time, with a newsworthy topic, viewed as being culturally controversial. It analyzes a sample of media content (n = 1,154) and firsthand accounts from pro-ban campaigners and journalists (n = 10). The analysis shows that the ban was covered not primarily as a health issue: Economic, political, social, democratic, and technical aspects also received significant attention. It shows how coverage followed controversy and examines how pro-ban campaigners countered effectively the anti-ban communication efforts of influential social actors in the economic and political spheres. The analysis demonstrates that medical-political sources successfully defined the ban's issues as centrally concerned with public health.
Although abortion for health reasons is not considered a crime in Peru, the State does not allow its inclusion in public policy, thus violating women's right to terminate a pregnancy when it affects their health. When examining the article in the Criminal Code which decriminalizes this type of abortion, provisions are identified which protect women and set the conditions to offer this type of service. This document sets the debate about the arguments used by the Peruvian State for not approving a therapeutic abortion protocol which would regulate the provision and financing of therapeutic abortion in public services, and explains why this obligation should be complied with, based on the conceptual framework of "health exception" In addition, it presents two cases brought before the judicial court in which the Peruvian State was found guilty of violating the human rights of two adolescents to whom a therapeutic abortion was denied.
Purpose Correctional healthcare should promote the protection of human rights. The purpose of this paper is to bring a discussion of human rights into debates on how such policy should be best organized. Design/methodology/approach The paper achieves its aim by providing an analysis of European prison law and policy in the area of prison health, through assessing decisions of the European Court of Human Rights, as well as policies created by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture. Findings The paper describes the position of the European Court of Human Rights on the topics of access to healthcare, ill health and release from prison, mental illness in prison, and the duty to provide rehabilitative programming for those seeking to reduce their level of "risk." It also argues that human rights law can be a source of practical reform, and that legal frameworks have much to offer healthcare leaders seeking to uphold the dignity of those in their care. Originality/value This paper will provide a rare example of the engagement of human rights law with correctional health policy. It provides practical recommendations arising out of an analysis of European human rights law in the area of prisons.
Selway, Joel Sawat
How do changes in electoral rules affect the nature of public policy outcomes? The current evidence supporting institutional theories that answer this question stems almost entirely from quantitative cross-country studies, the data of which contain very little within-unit variation. Indeed, while there are many country-level accounts of how changes in electoral rules affect such phenomena as the number of parties or voter turnout, there are few studies of how electoral reform affects public policy outcomes. This article contributes to this latter endeavor by providing a detailed analysis of electoral reform and the public policy process in Thailand through an examination of the 1997 electoral reforms. Specifically, the author examines four aspects of policy-making: policy formulation, policy platforms, policy content, and policy outcomes. The article finds that candidates in the pre-1997 era campaigned on broad, generic platforms; parties had no independent means of technical policy expertise; the government targeted health resources to narrow geographic areas; and health was underprovided in Thai society. Conversely, candidates in the post-1997 era relied more on a strong, detailed national health policy; parties created mechanisms to formulate health policy independently; the government allocated health resources broadly to the entire nation through the introduction of a universal health care system, and health outcomes improved. The author attributes these changes in the policy process to the 1997 electoral reform, which increased both constituency breadth (the proportion of the population to which politicians were accountable) and majoritarianism.
Gerlinger, Thomas; Urban, Hans-Jürgen
In the European Union (EU), health policy and the institutional reform of health systems have been treated primarily as national affairs, and health care systems within the EU thus differ considerably. However, the health policy field is undergoing a dynamic process of Europeanization. This process is stimulated by the orientation towards a more competitive economy, recently inaugurated and known as the Lisbon Strategy, while the regulatory requirements of the European Economic and Monetary Union are stimulating the Europeanization of health policy. In addition, the so-called open method of coordination, representing a new mode of regulation within the European multi-level system, is applied increasingly to the health policy area. Diverse trends are thus emerging. While the Lisbon Strategy goes along with a strategic upgrading of health policy more generally, health policy is increasingly used to strengthen economic competitiveness. Pressure on Member States is expected to increase to contain costs and promote market-based health care provision.
Salmon, J W; Berliner, H S
A forthright rebellion against the philosophical and clinical orientations of scientific medicine has occurred in the United States during the 1970s. This rebellion includes a growing number of people engaged in self-care practices in attempts to alter their health status through "lifestyle" adjustments, as well as a diverse amalgamation of practitioners (both medical and otherwise), who offer a wide range of therapies outside the mainstream of modern medical practice. Holistic health care has lately become the rubric under which these therapies are grouped. Scientific medicine is the term commonly used to refer to procedures officially sanctioned by the organized medical profession. In the late 19th century, scientific medicine emerged as an advance beyond allopathic medicine after germ theory provided an explanation and, later treatment for infectious diseases. Financial support by private philantropic foundations came in the wake of the Flexner Report on medical education, which provoked a reorganization of medical education in the United States. The subsequent hegemony of scientific medicine thus became assured. To date, few policy analysts have attempted to assess holism and its health policy implications. This article delineates several of the more important policy issues raised by the holistic movement, a phenomenon that represents a challenge to the present organization of health care institutions as well as to scientific medicine.
Workman, Annabelle; Blashki, Grant; Karoly, David; Wiseman, John
Reducing domestic carbon dioxide and other associated emissions can lead to short-term, localized health benefits. Quantifying and incorporating these health co-benefits into the development of national climate change mitigation policies may facilitate the adoption of stronger policies. There is, however, a dearth of research exploring the role of health co-benefits on the development of such policies. To address this knowledge gap, research was conducted in Australia involving the analysis of several data sources, including interviews carried out with Australian federal government employees directly involved in the development of mitigation policies. The resulting case study determined that, in Australia, health co-benefits play a minimal role in the development of climate change mitigation policies. Several factors influence the extent to which health co-benefits inform the development of mitigation policies. Understanding these factors may help to increase the political utility of future health co-benefits studies. PMID:27657098
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2007
The School Health Policies and Programs Study (SHPPS) is a national survey periodically conducted to assess school health policies and practices at the state, district, school, and classroom levels. This brief contains information on asthma relative to health education, physical education and activity, and health services. Included is data on the…
Rhetorical analysis, an approach to critical discourse analysis, is presented as a useful method for critical policy analysis and its effort to understand the role policies play in perpetuating inequality. A rhetorical analysis of Character "Matters!", the character education policy of a school board in Ontario, Canada, provides an…
Bennett, Sara; Corluka, Adrijana; Doherty, Jane; Tangcharoensathien, Viroj; Patcharanarumol, Walaiporn; Jesani, Amar; Kyabaggu, Joseph; Namaganda, Grace; Hussain, A M Zakir; de-Graft Aikins, Ama
In recent years there has been a growth in the number of independent health policy analysis institutes in low- and middle-income countries which has occurred in response to the limitation of government analytical capacity and pressures associated with democratization. This study aimed to: (i) investigate the contribution made by health policy analysis institutes in low- and middle-income countries to health policy agenda setting, formulation, implementation and monitoring and evaluation; and (ii) assess which factors, including organizational form and structure, support the role of health policy analysis institutes in low- and middle-income countries in terms of positively contributing to health policy. Six case studies of health policy analysis institutes in Bangladesh, Ghana, India, South Africa, Uganda and Vietnam were conducted including two NGOs, two university and two government-owned policy analysis institutes. Case studies drew on document review, analysis of financial information, semi-structured interviews with staff and other stakeholders, and iterative feedback of draft findings. Some of the institutes had made major contributions to policy development in their respective countries. All of the institutes were actively engaged in providing policy advice and most undertook policy-relevant research. Relatively few were engaged in conducting policy dialogues, or systematic reviews, or commissioning research. Much of the work undertaken by institutes was driven by requests from government or donors, and the primary outputs for most institutes were research reports, frequently combined with verbal briefings. Several factors were critical in supporting effective policy engagement. These included a supportive policy environment, some degree of independence in governance and financing, and strong links to policy makers that facilitate trust and influence. While the formal relationship of the institute to government was not found to be critical, units within
Phelps, James L.
This article focuses on a method of policy analysis that has evolved from the previous articles in this issue. The first section, "Toward a Theory of Educational Production," identifies concepts from science and achievement production to be incorporated into this policy analysis method. Building on Kuhn's (1970) discussion regarding paradigms, the…
O'Neil, J D
This paper provides a preliminary report on the work of the Canadian Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. This commission has spent the past four years undertaking a comprehensive review of all matters pertaining to indigenous people in Canada, and will publish a final report in late 1995 or early 1996. The paper provides an overview of health policy issues examined by the commission. The author was employed by the commission in various capacities to contribute to this analysis of indigenous people's health policy concerns. A disproportionate burden of illness has been suffered by indigenous peoples in Canada. Past policy has systematically undermined the capacity of indigenous communities to develop their own health care systems. Current concerns about health problems and services, as expressed by indigenous people at the commission's community hearings, describe a need for a community-controlled and culturally appropriate approach to healing in indigenous communities. The commission's framework for developing an indigenous people's health strategy is intended to ensure that indigenous people have the capacity, the resources and the appropriate political environment in which to implement community healing. Its relevance to the Australian context may best be seen through a careful review of the commission's final report.
Health in All Policies (HiAP) approach is generally perceived as an intersectoral approach to national or sub-national public policy development, such that health outcomes are given full consideration by non-health sectors. Globalization, however, has created numerous 'inherently global health issues' with cross-border causes and consequences, requiring new forms of global governance for health. Although such governance often includes both state and non-state (private, civil society) actors in agenda setting and influence, different actors have differing degrees of power and authority and, ultimately, it is states that ratify intergovernmental covenants or normative declarations that directly or indirectly affect health. This requires public health and health promotion practitioners working within countries to give increased attention to the foreign policies of their national governments. These foreign policies include those governing national security, foreign aid, trade and investment as well as the traditional forms of diplomacy. A new term has been coined to describe how health is coming to be positioned in governments' foreign policies: global health diplomacy. To become adept at this nuanced diplomatic practice requires familiarity with the different policy frames by which health might be inserted into the foreign policy deliberations, and thence intergovernmental/global governance negotiations. This article discusses six such frames (security, trade, development, global public goods, human rights, ethical/moral reasoning) that have been analytically useful in assessing the potential for greater and more health-promoting foreign policy coherence: a 'Health in All (Foreign) Policies' approach.
Nora, Carlise Rigon Dalla; Junges, José Roque
OBJECTIVE To analyze humanization practices in primary health care in the Brazilian Unified Health System according to the principles of the National Humanization Policy. METHODS A systematic review of the literature was carried out, followed by a meta-synthesis, using the following databases: BDENF (nursing database), BDTD (Brazilian digital library of theses and dissertations), CINAHL (Cumulative Index to nursing and allied health literature), LILACS (Latin American and Caribbean health care sciences literature), MedLine (International health care sciences literature), PAHO (Pan-American Health Care Organization Library) and SciELO (Scientific Electronic Library Online). The following descriptors were used: Humanization; Humanizing Health Care; Reception: Humanized care: Humanization in health care; Bonding; Family Health Care Program; Primary Care; Public Health and Sistema Único de Saúde (the Brazilian public health care system). Research articles, case studies, reports of experiences, dissertations, theses and chapters of books written in Portuguese, English or Spanish, published between 2003 and 2011, were included in the analysis. RESULTS Among the 4,127 publications found on the topic, 40 studies were evaluated and included in the analysis, producing three main categories: the first referring to the infrastructure and organization of the primary care service, made clear the dissatisfaction with the physical structure and equipment of the services and with the flow of attendance, which can facilitate or make difficult the access. The second, referring to the health work process, showed issues about the insufficient number of professionals, fragmentation of the work processes, the professional profile and responsibility. The third category, referring to the relational technologies, indicated the reception, bonding, listening, respect and dialog with the service users. CONCLUSIONS Although many practices were cited as humanizing they do not produce changes
Hendriks, Anna-Marie; Kremers, Stef P. J.; Gubbels, Jessica S.; Raat, Hein; de Vries, Nanne K.; Jansen, Maria W. J.
The childhood obesity epidemic can be best tackled by means of an integrated approach, which is enabled by integrated public health policies, or Health in All Policies. Integrated policies are developed through intersectoral collaboration between local government policy makers from health and nonhealth sectors. Such intersectoral collaboration has been proved to be difficult. In this study, we investigated which resources influence intersectoral collaboration. The behavior change wheel framework was used to categorize motivation-, capability-, and opportunity-related resources for intersectoral collaboration. In-depth interviews were held with eight officials representing 10 non-health policy sectors within a local government. Results showed that health and non-health policy sectors did not share policy goals, which decreased motivation for intersectoral collaboration. Awareness of the linkage between health and nonhealth policy sectors was limited, and management was not involved in creating such awareness, which reduced the capability for intersectoral collaboration. Insufficient organizational resources and structures reduced opportunities for intersectoral collaboration. To stimulate intersectoral collaboration to prevent childhood obesity, we recommend that public health professionals should reframe health goals in the terminology of nonhealth policy sectors, that municipal department managers should increase awareness of public health in non-health policy sectors, and that flatter organizational structures should be established. PMID:24490059
Owen, John Wyn; Roberts, Olivia
A discussion of the growing links between the issues of globalisation, health and foreign policy. This article examines the effect this has on health, development and foreign policy communities in the UK and internationally and considers what steps the policy community must take to address the challenges and opportunities of this new relationship. PMID:16053520
Metcalfe, O; Higgins, C
The 8th International Health Impact Assessment Conference, entitled 'Healthy public policy--is health impact assessment the cornerstone?', was hosted by the Institute of Public Health in Ireland (IPH). At the event, IPH sponsored a keynote speech to set the context of the conference and outline the importance of healthy public policy. This article presents an overview of healthy public policy and the barriers to its adoption in policy-making. Health impact assessment is one such tool to overcome the barriers, and the authors recommend the methodology as the cornerstone to healthy public policy.
This paper argues that there is now reliable evidence that ill health and malnutrition affect education access, participation, completion, and achievement, and that school-based health and nutrition programs can provide a cost-effective and low-cost solution. International coordination around this issue has been helped by a consensus framework to "Focus Resources on Effective School Health (FRESH)," developed jointly by UNESCO, WHO, UNICEF, Education International, and the World Bank, and launched at the World Education Forum in Dakar in April 2000 aspart of the global effort to achieve the goal of Education for All (EFA). The need for school health and nutrition programs as part of EFA actions is now recognized by both countries and development partners, and examples of successful practical sector programs that have gone to scale are presented for both low- and middle-income countries. This paper argues that, despite this progress, there are two key unresolved issues related to the targeting of nutrition interventions toward school-age children. The first concerns the role of food as an incentive for participation in education, and the second concerns the appropriate target age group for nutrition interventions. It is suggested that finding clear answers to these key policy questions in nutrition could profoundly influence the impact of future school health and nutrition programs.
Haskell, William L; Blair, Steven N; Hill, James O
This manuscript presents a brief summary of the substantial data supporting an inverse relationship between the amount of habitual physical activity performed and a variety of negative health outcomes throughout the lifespan. It points out that despite these data a large segment of the US population remain insufficiently active resulting in a high population attributable risk for chronic disease due to inactivity. The accumulated data support the need for more comprehensive health promoting physical activity policies and programs, especially for the economically and socially disadvantaged and medically underserved.
Aday, L A; Andersen, R; Anderson, O W
The authors explore the utility of applying social survey data (a) to evaluate the impact of existing health programs and (b) to rank-order priorities concerning future health care policies. Based on national survey data from 1963, 1970, and 1976, they concluded that although Medicare and Medicaid have enabled more people to see a physician than ever before, a large proportion of the population still registers dissatisfaction with the health care they received--particularly with respect to their out-of-pocket costs for obtaining it. However, national health insurance options favored by the majority of the population--particularly those who can best afford the cost of care--suggest preferences for programs that incorporate some mix of existing modes of financing rather than those that provide for substantial restructuring of the current system. PMID:337340
Loría, Kattia Rojas; Rosado, Teresa Gutiérrez; Espinosa, Leonor María Cantera; Marrochi, Leda María Marenco; Sánchez, Anna Fernández
OBJECTIVE To analyze the content of policies and action plans within the public healthcare system that addresses the issue of violence against women. METHODS A descriptive and comparative study was conducted on the health policies and plans in Catalonia and Costa Rica from 2005 to 2011. It uses a qualitative methodology with documentary analysis. It is classified by topics that describe and interpret the contents. We considered dimensions, such as principles, strategies, concepts concerning violence against women, health trends, and evaluations. RESULTS Thirteen public policy documents were analyzed. In both countries’ contexts, we have provided an overview of violence against women as a problem whose roots are in gender inequality. The strategies of gender policies that address violence against women are cultural exchange and institutional action within the public healthcare system. The actions of the healthcare sector are expanded into specific plans. The priorities and specificity of actions in healthcare plans were the distinguishing features between the two countries. CONCLUSIONS The common features of the healthcare plans in both the counties include violence against women, use of protocols, detection tasks, care and recovery for women, and professional self-care. Catalonia does not consider healthcare actions with aggressors. Costa Rica has a lower specificity in conceptualization and protocol patterns, as well as a lack of updates concerning health standards in Catalonia. PMID:25210820
Saltman, R. B.; Ferroussier-Davis, O.
There is widespread agreement that both the configuration and the application of state authority in the health sector should be realigned in the interest of achieving agreed policy objectives. The desired outcome is frequently characterized as a search for good governance serving the public interest. The present paper examines the proposal in The World Health Report 2000 that the concept of stewardship offers the appropriate basis for reconfiguration. We trace the development of stewardship from its initial religious formulation to more recent ecological and sociological permutations. Consideration is given to the potential of stewardship for encouraging state decision-making that is both normatively based and economically efficient. Various dilemmas that could impede or preclude such a shift in state behaviour are examined. We conclude that the concept of stewardship holds substantial promise if adequately developed and effectively implemented. PMID:10916910
Tesler, Laura E.
To counter negative publicity about the tobacco industry, Philip Morris has widely publicized its philanthropy initiatives. Although corporate philanthropy is primarily a public relations tool, contributions may be viewed as offsetting the harms caused by corporate products and practices. That such donations themselves have harmful consequences has been little considered. Drawing on internal company documents, we explored the philanthropy undertaken as part of Philip Morris's PM21 image makeover. Philip Morris explicitly linked philanthropy to government affairs and used contributions as a lobbying tool against public health policies. Through advertising, covertly solicited media coverage, and contributions to legislators’ pet causes, Philip Morris improved its image among key voter constituencies, influenced public officials, and divided the public health field as grantees were converted to stakeholders. PMID:18923118
Tesler, Laura E; Malone, Ruth E
To counter negative publicity about the tobacco industry, Philip Morris has widely publicized its philanthropy initiatives. Although corporate philanthropy is primarily a public relations tool, contributions may be viewed as offsetting the harms caused by corporate products and practices. That such donations themselves have harmful consequences has been little considered. Drawing on internal company documents, we explored the philanthropy undertaken as part of Philip Morris's PM21 image makeover. Philip Morris explicitly linked philanthropy to government affairs and used contributions as a lobbying tool against public health policies. Through advertising, covertly solicited media coverage, and contributions to legislators' pet causes, Philip Morris improved its image among key voter constituencies, influenced public officials, and divided the public health field as grantees were converted to stakeholders.
Jones, Catherine M; Clavier, Carole; Potvin, Louise
National policies on global health appear as one way that actors from health, development and foreign affairs sectors in a country coordinate state action on global health. Next to a burgeoning literature in which international relations and global governance theories are employed to understand global health policy and global health diplomacy at the international level, little is known about policy processes for global health at the national scale. We propose a framework of the policy process to understand how such policies are developed, and we identify challenges for public health researchers integrating conceptual tools from political science. We developed the framework using a two-step process: 1) reviewing literature to establish criteria for selecting a theoretical framework fit for this purpose, and 2) adapting Real-Dato's synthesis framework to integrate a cognitive approach to public policy within a constructivist perspective. Our framework identifies multiple contexts as part of the policy process, focuses on situations where actors work together to make national policy on global health, considers these interactive situations as spaces for observing external influences on policy change and proposes policy design as the output of the process. We suggest that this framework makes three contributions to the conceptualisation of national policy on global health as a research object. First, it emphasizes collective action over decisions of individual policy actors. Second, it conceptualises the policy process as organised interactive spaces for collaboration rather than as stages of a policy cycle. Third, national decision-making spaces are opportunities for transferring ideas and knowledge from different sectors and settings, and represent opportunities to identify international influences on a country's global health policy. We discuss two sets of challenges for public health researchers using interdisciplinary approaches in policy research.
Kenney, Genevieve M.; Dorn, Stan
Moving toward universal coverage has the potential to increase access to care and improve the health and well-being of uninsured children and adults. The effects of health care reform on the more than 25 million children who currently have coverage under Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) are less clear. Increased parental…
needed treatment , or follow-up not see doctor or clinic Figure 1. Gaps in Insurance Coverage Hinder Access to Care, The Affordability Crisis in U.S...Care and Treatment Act (IHCTA) of 1985, which clearly defined the county’s responsibility to provide health care to the indigent. In an effort to...Medicaid Program. Benefits include services provided by a chiropractor , services provided by a podiatrist, eyeglasses, and contact lenses (when
Exworthy, Mark; Blane, David; Marmot, Michael
Goal Assess the progress and pitfalls of current United Kingdom (U.K.) policies to reduce health inequalities. Objectives (1) Describe the context enabling health inequalities to get onto the policy agenda in the United Kingdom. (2) Categorize and assess selected current U.K. policies that may affect health inequalities. (3) Apply the “policy windows” model to understand the issues faced in formulating and implementing such policies. (4) Examine the emerging policy challenges in the U.K. and elsewhere. Data Sources Official documents, secondary analyses, and interviews with policymakers. Study Design Qualitative, policy analysis. Data Collection 2001–2002. The methods were divided into two stages. The first identified policies which were connected with individual inquiry recommendations. The second involved case-studies of three policies areas which were thought to be crucial in tackling health inequalities. Both stages involved interviews with policy-makers and documentary analysis. Principal Findings (1) The current U.K. government stated a commitment to reducing health inequalities. (2) The government has begun to implement policies that address the wider determinants. (3) Some progress is evident but many indicators remain stubborn. (4) Difficulties remain in terms of coordinating policies across government and measuring progress. (5) The “policy windows” model explains the limited extent of progress and highlights current and possible future pitfalls. (6) The U.K.'s experience has lessons for other governments involved in tackling health inequalities. Conclusions Health inequalities are on the agenda of U.K. government policy and steps have been made to address them. There are some signs of progress but much remains to be done including overcoming some of the perverse incentives at the national level, improving joint working, ensuring appropriate measures of performance/progress, and improving monitoring arrangements. A conceptual policy model aids
Bell, Erica; Crocombe, Leonard; Campbell, Steven; Goldberg, Lynette R.; Seidel, Bastian M.
Background: No studies exist of the congruence of research in oral health to policy. This study aimed to examine the broad congruence of oral health research to policy, and implications for developing oral health research that is more policy relevant, particularly for the wider challenge of addressing unequal oral health outcomes, rather than specific policy translation issues. Methods: Bayesian-based software was used in a multi-layered method to compare the conceptual content of 127,193 oral health research abstracts published between 2000–2012 with eight current oral health policy documents from Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries. Findings: Fifty-five concepts defined the research abstracts, of which only eight were policy-relevant, and six of which were minor research concepts. Conclusions The degree of disconnection between clinical concepts and healthcare system and workforce development concepts was striking. This study shows that, far from being “lost in translation,” oral health research and policy are so different as to raise doubts about the extent to which research is policy-relevant and policy is research-based. The notion of policy relevance encompasses the lack of willingness of policy makers to embrace research, and the need for researchers to develop research that is, and is seen to be, policy-relevant. PMID:25617516
Yoder, Karen M; Edelstein, Burton L
This article describes the planning, sequential improvements, and outcomes of Indiana University School of Dentistry's annual Oral Health Policy Forum. This one-day forum for fourth-year dental students was instituted in 2005 with the Indiana Dental Association and the Children's Dental Health Project to introduce students to the health policy process and to encourage their engagement in advocacy. Following a keynote by a visiting professor, small student groups develop arguments in favor and in opposition to five oral health policy scenarios and present their positions to a mock or authentic legislator. The "legislator" critiques these presentations, noting both effective and ineffective approaches, and the student deemed most effective by fellow students receives a gift award. During the afternoon, students tour the Indiana State House, observe deliberations, and meet with legislators. In 2009, 92 percent of students reported a positive impression of the forum, up from 60 percent in 2005. Half (49 percent) in 2009 indicated that they were more inclined to become involved with the political process following the forum, up from 21 percent in 2005. Dental students' feedback became increasingly positive as the program was refined and active learning opportunities were enhanced. This model for engaging students in policy issues important to their professional careers is readily replicable by other dental schools.
Soares, Catharina Leite Matos; Paim, Jairnilson Silva
This study focuses on policy implementation by public organizations. This was a qualitative, exploratory case study focusing on Brazil's National Oral Health Policy, known as "Smiling Brazil", implemented in Salvador, the State capital of Bahia. The study aimed to identify factors that facilitated or hindered the policy's implementation, based on the public policy cycle and Carlos Matus' government triangle concept, for the period from 2004 to 2007. Data collection strategies included analysis of municipal documents, interviews with key informants, and direct observation of top management meetings at the Municipal Health Secretariat. The main factors that hindered implementation of the municipal oral health policy were the project's lack of specificity; lack of human resources; and lack of financial autonomy in the Municipal Health Secretariat. The study showed that the lack of connection between the variables comprising the government triangle raised obstacles to the implementation of oral health policy in Salvador.
Lancaster, K; Seear, K; Treloar, C; Ritter, A
For over twenty years there have been calls for greater 'consumer' participation in health decision-making. While it is recognised by governments and other stakeholders that 'consumer' participation is desirable, barriers to meaningful involvement nonetheless remain. It has been suggested that the reifying of 'evidence-based policy' may be limiting opportunities for participation, through the way this discourse legitimates particular voices to the exclusion of others. Others have suggested that assumptions underpinning the very notion of the 'affected community' or 'consumers' as fixed and bounded 'policy publics' need to be problematised. In this paper, drawing on interviews (n = 41) with individuals closely involved in Australian drug policy discussions, we critically interrogate the productive techniques and constitutive effects of 'evidence-based policy' and 'consumer participation' discourses in the context of drug policy processes. To inform our analysis, we draw on and combine a number of critical perspectives including Foucault's concept of subjugated knowledges, the work of feminist theorists, as well as recent work regarding conceptualisations of emergent policy publics. First, we explore how the subject position of 'consumer' might be seen as enacted in the material-discursive practices of 'evidence-based policy' and 'consumer participation' in drug policy processes. Secondly, we consider the centralising power-effects of the dominant 'evidence-based policy' paradigm, and how resistance may be thought about in this context. We suggest that such interrogation has potential to recast the call for 'consumer' participation in health policy decision-making and drug policy processes.
Harper, Gordon; Cetin, Fusun Cuhadaroglu
Mental health policy enables the translation of the knowledge base of 'how' to help children and families into the actual 'provision' of help. Amid competing pressures to leave the allocation of services to the market, policy is required to define needs, select priorities, match resources with need, and to measure what has been accomplished. Crafting policy requires balancing contrasting goals and approaches, here spelled out. Public mental health policy can be compared to other forms of continuous quality improvement (CQI).
Rütten, Alfred; Gelius, Peter; Abu-Omar, Karim
There is a growing interest among health promotion researchers to better understand and influence the policy process. However, at this point in time, theoretical concepts enabling researchers to do so are still rare and underused, suggesting a need for new, easy-to-use concepts to explain successes or failures of health promotion policies. This article presents the ADEPT (Analysis of Determinants of Policy Impact) approach, which aims to explain and influence policy development and policy impact implementation with four determinants: goals, obligations, resources and opportunities. ADEPT provides a detailed operationalization for both quantitative and qualitative use. An empirical test of the ADEPT model using a quantitative survey of 719 policy-makers from four health promotion policy fields and six European nations indicated that both policy outputs and policy outcomes are influenced by the four determinants. The approach has, in the meantime, been successfully utilized to analyze and initiate policy development in a number of health promotion projects. Despite a number of limitations, ADEPT provides an easy-to-use, theory-based and parsimonious tool for understanding and influencing policy processes in health promotion. Moreover, as it identifies potential 'levers of influence' and can easily be connected to existing methods of community development or capacity building, it is a particularly powerful tool for policy development.
Rigby, Elizabeth; Hatch, Megan E
Recognizing the health effects of nonhealth policies, scholars and others seeking to improve Americans' health have advocated the implementation of a culture of health-which would call attention to and prioritize health as a key outcome of policy making across all levels of government and in the private sector. Adopting this "health-in-all-policies" lens, policy makers are paying increasing attention to health impacts as they debate policies in areas such as urban planning, housing, and transportation. Yet the health impacts of economic policies that shape the distribution of income and wealth are often overlooked. Pooling data from all fifty states for the period 1990-2010, we provide a broad portrait of how economic policies affect health. Overall, we found better health outcomes in states that enacted higher tax credits for the poor or higher minimum wage laws and in states without a right-to-work law that limits union power. Notably, these policies focus on increasing the incomes of low-income and working-class families, instead of on shaping the resources available to wealthier individuals. Incorporating these findings into a health-in-all-policies agenda will require leadership from the health sector, including a willingness to step into core and polarizing debates about redistribution.
... OFFICE Health Information Technology Policy Committee Vacancy AGENCY: Government Accountability Office... Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) established the Health Information Technology Policy Committee (Health IT...: HITCommittee@gao.gov . GAO: 441 G Street NW., Washington, DC 20548. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:...
Illinois State Board of Higher Education, Springfield.
This report presents recommendations for Illinois' Board of Higher Education's approval in the areas of: (1) general policies for health professions education, (2) the adoption of immediate program priorities to implement the general policy directions in health education programs, and (3) specific recommendations for adjustments in Health Services…
Spencer, Rachael A; Komro, Kelli A
In this review, we examine the effects of family economic security policies (i.e., minimum wage, earned income tax credit, unemployment insurance, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) on child and family health outcomes, summarize policy generosity across states in the USA, and discuss directions and possibilities for future research. This manuscript is an update to a review article that was published in 2014. Millions of Americans are affected by family economic security policies each year, many of whom are the most vulnerable in society. There is increasing evidence that these policies impact health outcomes and behaviors of adults and children. Further, research indicates that, overall, policies which are more restrictive are associated with poorer health behaviors and outcomes; however, the strength of the evidence differs across each of the four policies. There is significant diversity in state-level policies, and it is plausible that these policy variations are contributing to health disparities across and within states. Despite increasing evidence of the relationship between economic policies and health, there continues to be limited attention to this issue. State policy variations offer a valuable opportunity for scientists to conduct natural experiments and contribute to evidence linking social policy effects to family and child well-being. The mounting evidence will help to guide future research and policy making for evolving toward a more nurturing society for family and child health and well-being.
Stephen, C; Ninghui, L; Yeh, F; Zhang, L
Animal health policy for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) must, for the time being, be based on expert opinion and shared international experience. We used the intellectual capital and knowledge of experienced Chinese and Canadian practitioners and policy makers to inform policy options for China and find shared policy elements applicable to both countries. No peer-reviewed comprehensive evaluations or systematic regulatory impact assessments of animal health policies were found. Sixteen guiding policy principles emerged from our thematic analysis of Chinese and Canadian policies. We provide a list of shared policy goals, targets and elements for HPAI preparedness, response and recovery. Policy elements clustered in a manner consistent with core public health competencies. Complex situations like HPAI require complex and adaptive policies, yet policies that cross jurisdictions and are fully integrated across agencies are rare. We encourage countries to develop or deploy capacity to undertake and publish regulatory impact assessments and policy evaluation to identify policy needs and provide a basis for evidence-based policy development.
Jessani, Nasreen S; Boulay, Marc G; Bennett, Sara C
The potential for academic research institutions to facilitate knowledge exchange and influence evidence-informed decision-making has been gaining ground. Schools of public health (SPHs) may play a key knowledge brokering role—serving as agencies of and for development. Understanding academic-policymaker networks can facilitate the enhancement of links between policymakers and academic faculty at SPHs, as well as assist in identifying academic knowledge brokers (KBs). Using a census approach, we administered a sociometric survey to academic faculty across six SPHs in Kenya to construct academic-policymaker networks. We identified academic KBs using social network analysis (SNA) in a two-step approach: First, we ranked individuals based on (1) number of policymakers in their network; (2) number of academic peers who report seeking them out for advice on knowledge translation and (3) their network position as ‘inter-group connectors’. Second, we triangulated the three scores and re-ranked individuals. Academic faculty scoring within the top decile across all three measures were classified as KBs. Results indicate that each SPH commands a variety of unique as well as overlapping relationships with national ministries in Kenya. Of 124 full-time faculty, we identified 7 KBs in 4 of the 6 SPHs. Those scoring high on the first measure were not necessarily the same individuals scoring high on the second. KBs were also situated in a wide range along the ‘connector/betweenness’ measure. We propose that a composite score rather than traditional ‘betweenness centrality’, provides an alternative means of identifying KBs within these networks. In conclusion, SNA is a valuable tool for identifying academic-policymaker networks in Kenya. More efforts to conduct similar network studies would permit SPH leadership to identify existing linkages between faculty and policymakers, shared linkages with other SPHs and gaps so as to contribute to evidence-informed health
Jessani, Nasreen S; Boulay, Marc G; Bennett, Sara C
The potential for academic research institutions to facilitate knowledge exchange and influence evidence-informed decision-making has been gaining ground. Schools of public health (SPHs) may play a key knowledge brokering role-serving as agencies of and for development. Understanding academic-policymaker networks can facilitate the enhancement of links between policymakers and academic faculty at SPHs, as well as assist in identifying academic knowledge brokers (KBs). Using a census approach, we administered a sociometric survey to academic faculty across six SPHs in Kenya to construct academic-policymaker networks. We identified academic KBs using social network analysis (SNA) in a two-step approach: First, we ranked individuals based on (1) number of policymakers in their network; (2) number of academic peers who report seeking them out for advice on knowledge translation and (3) their network position as 'inter-group connectors'. Second, we triangulated the three scores and re-ranked individuals. Academic faculty scoring within the top decile across all three measures were classified as KBs. Results indicate that each SPH commands a variety of unique as well as overlapping relationships with national ministries in Kenya. Of 124 full-time faculty, we identified 7 KBs in 4 of the 6 SPHs. Those scoring high on the first measure were not necessarily the same individuals scoring high on the second. KBs were also situated in a wide range along the 'connector/betweenness' measure. We propose that a composite score rather than traditional 'betweenness centrality', provides an alternative means of identifying KBs within these networks. In conclusion, SNA is a valuable tool for identifying academic-policymaker networks in Kenya. More efforts to conduct similar network studies would permit SPH leadership to identify existing linkages between faculty and policymakers, shared linkages with other SPHs and gaps so as to contribute to evidence-informed health policies.
International interest in the social determinants of health and their public policy antecedents is increasing. Despite evidence that the USA presents one of the worst population health profiles and public policy environments in support of health among wealthy developed nations - a result of systemic inequities in income, influence, and power - the USA public health gaze is firmly - and narrowly - focused on issues of access to health care, racial and ethnic disparities in healthcare, and individual behavioral risk factors. Reasons for the USA's neglect of structural and public policy issues are explored and Ten Tips for American Public Health Researchers and Workers are presented.
Roos, Noralou P.; O'Grady, Kathleen; Singer, Sharon Manson; Turczak, Shannon; Tapp, Camilla
The media shape consumer expectations and interpretations of health interventions, influencing how people think about their need for care and the sustainability of the system. EvidenceNetwork.ca is a non-partisan, web-based project funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Manitoba Health Research Council to make the latest evidence on controversial health policy issues available to the media. This website links journalists with health policy experts. We publish opinion pieces on current health policy issues in both French and English. We track who follows and uses the EvidenceNetwork.ca website and monitor the impact of our efforts. PMID:23968614
Muller, Mark; Tagtow, Angie; Roberts, Susan L.; MacDougall, Erin
The involvement of public health professionals in food and agricultural policy provides tremendous opportunities for advancing the public's health. It is particularly challenging, however, for professionals to understand and consider the numerous policy drivers that impact the food system, which range from agricultural commodity policies to local food safety ordinances. Confronted with this complexity in the food system, policy advocates often focus on narrow objectives with disregard for the larger system. This commentary contends that, in order to be most effective, public health professionals need to consider the full range of interdependent policies that affect the system. Food policy councils have proven to be an effective tool, particularly at the local and state level, for developing comprehensive food systems policies that can improve public health. PMID:23144671
Raub, Amy; Earle, Alison
Abstract Objective To explore the extent to which national policies guaranteeing breastfeeding breaks to working women may facilitate breastfeeding. Methods An analysis was conducted of the number of countries that guarantee breastfeeding breaks, the daily number of hours guaranteed, and the duration of guarantees. To obtain current, detailed information on national policies, original legislation as well as secondary sources on 182 of the 193 Member States of the United Nations were examined. Regression analyses were conducted to test the association between national policy and rates of exclusive breastfeeding while controlling for national income level, level of urbanization, female percentage of the labour force and female literacy rate. Findings Breastfeeding breaks with pay are guaranteed in 130 countries (71%) and unpaid breaks are guaranteed in seven (4%). No policy on breastfeeding breaks exists in 45 countries (25%). In multivariate models, the guarantee of paid breastfeeding breaks for at least 6 months was associated with an increase of 8.86 percentage points in the rate of exclusive breastfeeding (P < 0.05). Conclusion A greater percentage of women practise exclusive breastfeeding in countries where laws guarantee breastfeeding breaks at work. If these findings are confirmed in longitudinal studies, health outcomes could be improved by passing legislation on breastfeeding breaks in countries that do not yet ensure the right to breastfeed. PMID:24052676
Campbell, Danielle M; Redman, Sally; Jorm, Louisa; Cooke, Margaret; Zwi, Anthony B; Rychetnik, Lucie
Background Better communication is often suggested as fundamental to increasing the use of research evidence in policy, but little is known about how researchers and policy makers work together or about barriers to exchange. This study explored the views and practice of policy makers and researchers regarding the use of evidence in policy, including: (i) current use of research to inform policy; (ii) dissemination of and access to research findings for policy; (iii) communication and exchange between researchers and policy makers; and (iv) incentives for increasing the use of research in policy. Methods Separate but similar interview schedules were developed for policy makers and researchers. Senior policy makers from NSW Health and senior researchers from public health and health service research groups in NSW were invited to participate. Consenting participants were interviewed by an independent research company. Results Thirty eight policy makers (79% response rate) and 41 researchers (82% response rate) completed interviews. Policy makers reported rarely using research to inform policy agendas or to evaluate the impact of policy; research was used more commonly to inform policy content. Most researchers reported that their research had informed local policy, mainly by increasing awareness of an issue. Policy makers reported difficulty in accessing useful research syntheses, and only a third of researchers reported developing targeted strategies to inform policy makers of their findings. Both policy makers and researchers wanted more exchange and saw this as important for increasing the use of research evidence in policy; however, both groups reported a high level of involvement by policy makers in research. Conclusion Policy makers and researchers recognise the potential of research to contribute to policy and are making significant attempts to integrate research into the policy process. These findings suggest four strategies to assist in increasing the use of
Marjanovic, Sonja; Cochrane, Gavin; Manville, Catriona; Harte, Emma; Chataway, Joanna; Jones, Molly Morgan
Abstract In early 2012, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) leadership programme was re-commissioned for a further three years following an evaluation by RAND Europe. During this new phase of the programme, we conducted a real-time evaluation, the aim of which was to allow for reflection on and adjustment of the programme on an on-going basis as events unfold. This approach also allowed for participants on the programme to contribute to and positively engage in the evaluation. The study aimed to understand the outputs and impacts from the programme, and to test the underlying assumptions behind the NIHR Leadership Programme as a science policy intervention. Evidence on outputs and impacts of the programme were collected around the motivations and expectations of participants, programme design and individual-, institutional- and system-level impacts. PMID:28083398
Sostrom, Kristen; Collmann, Jeff R.
Health information management policies usually address the use of paper records with little or no mention of electronic health records. Information Technology (IT) policies often ignore the health care business needs and operational use of the information stored in its systems. Representatives from the Telemedicine & Advanced Technology Research Center, TRICARE and Offices of the Surgeon General of each Military Service, collectively referred to as the Policies, Procedures and Practices Work Group (P3WG), examined military policies and regulations relating to computer-based information systems and medical records management. Using a system of templates and matrices created for the purpose, P3WG identified gaps and discrepancies in DoD and service compliance with the proposed Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Security Standard. P3WG represents an unprecedented attempt to coordinate policy review and revision across all military health services and the Office of Health Affairs. This method of policy reform can identify where changes need to be made to integrate health management policy and IT policy in to an organizational policy that will enable compliance with HIPAA standards. The process models how large enterprises may coordinate policy revision and reform across broad organizational and work domains.
The author here distills his long-time personal experience with the deleterious effects of globalization on health and on the health sector reforms embarked on in many of the more than 50 countries where he has worked in the last 25 years. He highlights the role that the "human right to health" framework can and should play in countering globalization's negative effects on health and in shaping future health policy. This is a testimonial article.
Guimarães, Luisa; Giovanella, Lígia
This article explores the health policy repercussions of countries' regional integration into the European Union. The aim is to review the regulation of access in other countries, with the conclusion of the single European market and the free circulation of persons, services, goods, and capital. The article begins by reviewing the various forms of integration and describes the expansion and institutionalization of Community agencies. The repercussions of European integration on health policies and regulation of access are analyzed. Market impacts on health result from Treaty directives and internal policy adjustments to free circulation. Health services access is gradually regulated and granted by rulings. Projects along borders illustrate the dynamics where differences are used to achieve comprehensive care. In the oldest integration experience, the market regulation has generated intentional and non-intentional impacts on the health policies of member states, regardless of the organizational model. Knowledge and analysis of this experience signals challenges for the Southern Cone Common Market (Mercosur) and adds to future debates and decisions.
Beck, Charles R.; McKenzie, Bruce C.; Hashim, Ahmed B.; Harris, Rebecca C.; Zanuzdana, Arina; Agboado, Gabriel; Orton, Elizabeth; Béchard-Evans, Laura; Morgan, Gemma; Stevenson, Charlotte; Weston, Rachel; Mukaigawara, Mitsuru; Enstone, Joanne; Augustine, Glenda; Butt, Mobasher; Kim, Sophie; Puleston, Richard; Dabke, Girija; Howard, Robert; O'Boyle, Julie; O'Brien, Mary; Ahyow, Lauren; Denness, Helene; Farmer, Siobhan; Figureroa, Jose; Fisher, Paul; Greaves, Felix; Haroon, Munib; Haroon, Sophie; Hird, Caroline; Isba, Rachel; Ishola, David A.; Kerac, Marko; Parish, Vivienne; Roberts, Jonathan; Rosser, Julia; Theaker, Sarah; Wallace, Dean; Wigglesworth, Neil; Lingard, Liz; Vinogradova, Yana; Horiuchi, Hiroshi; Peñalver, Javier; Nguyen-Van-Tam, Jonathan S.
Background Immunocompromised patients are vulnerable to severe or complicated influenza infection. Vaccination is widely recommended for this group. This systematic review and meta-analysis assesses influenza vaccination for immunocompromised patients in terms of preventing influenza-like illness and laboratory confirmed influenza, serological response and adverse events. Methodology/Principal Findings Electronic databases and grey literature were searched and records were screened against eligibility criteria. Data extraction and risk of bias assessments were performed in duplicate. Results were synthesised narratively and meta-analyses were conducted where feasible. Heterogeneity was assessed using I2 and publication bias was assessed using Begg's funnel plot and Egger's regression test. Many of the 209 eligible studies included an unclear or high risk of bias. Meta-analyses showed a significant effect of preventing influenza-like illness (odds ratio [OR] = 0.23; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.16–0.34; p<0.001) and laboratory confirmed influenza infection (OR = 0.15; 95% CI = 0.03–0.63; p = 0.01) through vaccinating immunocompromised patie nts compared to placebo or unvaccinated controls. We found no difference in the odds of influenza-like illness compared to vaccinated immunocompetent controls. The pooled odds of seroconversion were lower in vaccinated patients compared to immunocompetent controls for seasonal influenza A(H1N1), A(H3N2) and B. A similar trend was identified for seroprotection. Meta-analyses of seroconversion showed higher odds in vaccinated patients compared to placebo or unvaccinated controls, although this reached significance for influenza B only. Publication bias was not detected and narrative synthesis supported our findings. No consistent evidence of safety concerns was identified. Conclusions/Significance Infection prevention and control strategies should recommend vaccinating immunocompromised patients
Bryant, Toba; Raphael, Dennis; Travers, Robb
An urban health research agenda for health promoters is presented. In Canada, urban issues are emerging as a major concern of policy makers. The voices raising these issues are from the non-health sectors, but many of these issues such as increasing income inequality and poverty, homelessness and housing insecurity, and social exclusion of youth, immigrants, and ethno-racial minorities have strong health implications as they are important social determinants of health. Emphasis on these and other social determinants of health and the policy decisions that strengthen or weaken them is timely as the quality of Canadian urban environments has become especially problematic. We argue for a participatory urban health research and action agenda with four components: (a) an emphasis on health promotion and the social determinants of health; (b) community-based participatory research; and (c) drawing on the lived experience of people to influence (d) policy analysis and policy change. Urban health researchers and promoters are urged to draw upon new developments in population health and community-based health promotion theory and research to identify and strengthen the roots of urban health through citizen action on public policy.
New trade agreements affect how governments can regulate for health both within health systems and in addressing health protection, promotion and social determinants of health in other policies. It is essential that those responsible for health understand the impacts of these trade negotiations and agreements on policy space for health at a national and local level. While we know more about implications from negotiations concerning intellectual property rights and trade in goods, this paper provides a screening checklist for less-discussed areas of domestic regulation, services, investment and government procurement. As implications are likely to differ on the basis of the organization and structures of national health systems and policy priorities, the emphasis is on finding out key provisions as well as on how exemptions and exclusions can be used to ensure policy space for health.
Pajer, Kathleen A.; Kelleher, Kelly; Gupta, Ravindra A.; Rolls, Jennifer; Gardner, William
A study aims to examine the existing health care policies in U.S. juvenile detention centres. The results conclude that juvenile detention facilities have many shortfalls in providing care for adolescents, particularly mental health care.
Romm, J J; Ervin, C A
The connection between energy policy and increased levels of respiratory and cardiopulmonary disease has become clearer in the past few years. People living in cities with high levels of pollution have a higher risk of mortality than those living in less polluted cities. The pollutants most directly linked to increased morbidity and mortality include ozone, particulates, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, volatile organic compounds, and oxides of nitrogen. Energy-related emissions generate the vast majority of these polluting chemicals. Technologies to prevent pollution in the transportation, manufacturing, building, and utility sectors can significantly reduce these emissions while reducing the energy bills of consumers and businesses. In short, clean energy technologies represent a very cost-effective investment in public health. Some 72% of the Federal government's investment in the research, development, and demonstration of pollution prevention technologies is made by the Department of Energy, with the largest share provided by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. This article will examine the connections between air pollution and health problems and will discuss what the Department of Energy is doing to prevent air pollution now and in the future. Images p390-a p391-a p392-a p393-a p394-a p395-a p396-a p397-a PMID:8837627
Brandt, Heather M; Pierce, Jennifer Young; Crary, Ashley
Vaccines against specific types of human papillomavirus (HPV) linked to cancer and other diseases have been met with mixed acceptance globally and in the United States. Policy-level interventions have been shown to be effective in increasing public health benefit. Government policies and mandates may result in improved HPV vaccination coverage and reduced disease burden, and alternative policies that improve unhindered access to HPV vaccination may allow success as well. The purpose of this commentary is to summarize policy efforts to maximize the public health benefit of HPV vaccination. We examine selected examples of HPV vaccination policy in global contexts and in the United States.
Brandt, Heather M.; Pierce, Jennifer Young; Crary, Ashley
ABSTRACT Vaccines against specific types of human papillomavirus (HPV) linked to cancer and other diseases have been met with mixed acceptance globally and in the United States. Policy-level interventions have been shown to be effective in increasing public health benefit. Government policies and mandates may result in improved HPV vaccination coverage and reduced disease burden, and alternative policies that improve unhindered access to HPV vaccination may allow success as well. The purpose of this commentary is to summarize policy efforts to maximize the public health benefit of HPV vaccination. We examine selected examples of HPV vaccination policy in global contexts and in the United States. PMID:26669416
Ogden, Lydia L
In the United States, fiscal and functional federalism strongly shape public health policy and programs. Federalism has implications for public health practice: it molds financing and disbursement options, including funding formulas, which affect allocations and program goals, and shapes how funding decisions are operationalized in a political context. This article explores how American federalism, both fiscal and functional, structures public health funding, policy, and program options, investigating the effects of intergovernmental transfers on public health finance and programs.
Voas, Robert B.; Fell, James C.
Alcohol-related health policy research is responsible for guiding the implementation of laws and public health policies that have reduced alcohol-related highway injuries and deaths, as well as other alcohol-related problems over the last 40 years. This research, which tests theories about potential policy changes and responds to specific problems, has examined a vast array of prevention programs. This article briefly identifies 10 program categories and highlights four programs to illustrate the scope and complexity of the individual health policy areas within the categories. PMID:23579933
Pierre-Gerlier Forest and his colleagues make a strong argument for the need to expand policy capacity among healthcare actors. In this commentary, I develop an additional argument in support of Forest et al view. Forest et al rightly point to the need to have embedded policy experts to successfully translate healthcare reform policy into healthcare change. Translation of externally generated innovation policy into local solutions is only one source of healthcare system change. We also need to build learning healthcare systems that can discover new health solutions at the frontline of care. Enhanced policy capacity staffing in those organizations will be key to building continuously learning health systems.
Lock, Karen; Gabrijelcic-Blenkus, Mojca; Martuzzi, Marco; Otorepec, Peter; Wallace, Paul; Dora, Carlos; Robertson, Aileen; Zakotnic, Jozica Maucec
The most important public health priority in agricultural policy-making is currently food safety, despite the relatively higher importance of food security, nutrition, and other agricultural-related health issues in terms of global burden of disease. There is limited experience worldwide of using health impact assessment (HIA) during the development of agriculture and food policies, which perhaps reflects the complex nature of this policy sector. This paper presents methods of HIA used in the Republic of Slovenia, which is conducting a HIA of proposed agricultural and food policies due to its accession to the European Union. It is the first time that any government has attempted to assess the health effects of agricultural policy at a national level. The HIA has basically followed a six-stage process: policy analysis; rapid appraisal workshops with stakeholders from a range of backgrounds; review of research evidence relevant to the agricultural policy; analysis of Slovenian data for key health-related indicators; a report on the findings to a key cross-government group; and evaluation. The experience in Slovenia shows that the HIA process has been a useful mechanism for raising broader public health issues on the agricultural policy agenda, and it has already had positive results for policy formation. HIA is one useful approach to more integrated policy-making across sectors, but clearly it is not the only mechanism to achieve this. A comparison of the approach used in Slovenia with HIA methods in other countries and policy contexts shows that there are still many limitations with HIA application at a government level. Lessons can be learnt from these case studies for future development and application of HIA that is more relevant to policy-makers, and assists them in making more healthy policy choices. PMID:12894321
The relationship between research and health policy is discussed from a policy process perspective, describing communication problems in the course of policy formulation, implementation and evaluation. Policy process is often expected by researchers to be rational, having logical sequence of steps and the objective evaluation of alternatives based on scientific knowledge. In fact, policies are often formulated without clear problem identification or based on wrong assumption. The timing of research and policy-making differs. Policy-makers need to respond quickly. Evaluations may be regarded by politicians as embarrassing if they point to a need for significant change. It is not satisfactory to consider only research and policy-making: their relationship is influenced by the media, different interest groups and by the general public. Health policy formulation is embedded in the general policy environment of particular societies. Some countries have a long tradition of consensus-building, while in others health reforms have been formulated and introduced in a centralized way. Traditional bio-medical thinking influences health policy-makers. The importance of social and political acceptability tends to be overlooked. The paper emphasizes that we are experiencing an era of scarcity of resources and growing tension concerning allocation decisions. Existing institutions provide insufficient incentives for policy-makers and researchers to promote public dialogue about such issues. The paper concludes that there is a need for new approaches to policy development and implementation, new structures in policy-making, changes in research financing and co-operation between disciplines and new structures for public participation in policy-making. Research should facilitate more open and democratic dialogue about policy options and the consequences of alternative choices.
Kolahdooz, Fariba; Nader, Forouz; Yi, Kyoung J.; Sharma, Sangita
Background Indigenous Canadians have a life expectancy 12 years lower than the national average and experience higher rates of preventable chronic diseases compared with non-Indigenous Canadians. Transgenerational trauma from past assimilation policies have affected the health of Indigenous populations. Objective The purpose of this paper is to comprehensively examine the social determinants of health (SDH), in order to identify priorities for health promotion policies and actions. Design We undertook a series of systematic reviews focusing on four major SDH (i.e. income, education, employment, and housing) among Indigenous peoples in Alberta, following the protocol Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis-Equity. Results We found that the four SDH disproportionately affect the health of Indigenous peoples. Our systematic review highlighted 1) limited information regarding relationships and interactions among income, personal and social circumstances, and health outcomes; 2) limited knowledge of factors contributing to current housing status and its impacts on health outcomes; and 3) the limited number of studies involving the barriers to, and opportunities for, education. Conclusions These findings may help to inform efforts to promote health equity and improve health outcomes of Indigenous Canadians. However, there is still a great need for in-depth subgroup studies to understand SDH (e.g. age, Indigenous ethnicity, dwelling area, etc.) and intersectoral collaborations (e.g. community and various government departments) to reduce health disparities faced by Indigenous Canadians. PMID:26187697
Mulé, Nick J; Ross, Lori E; Deeprose, Barry; Jackson, Beth E; Daley, Andrea; Travers, Anna; Moore, Dick
In this paper we argue the importance of including gender and sexually diverse populations in policy development towards a more inclusive form of health promotion. We emphasize the need to address the broad health and wellbeing issues and needs of LGBT people, rather than exclusively using an illness-based focus such as HIV/AIDS. We critically examine the limitations of population health, the social determinants of health (SDOH), and public health goals, in light of the lack of recognition of gender and sexually diverse individuals and communities. By first acknowledging the unique health and social care needs of LGBT people, then employing anti-oppressive, critical and intersectional analyses we offer recommendations for how to make population health perspectives, public health goals, and the design of public health promotion policy more inclusive of gender and sexual diversity. In health promotion research and practice, representation matters. It matters which populations are being targeted for health promotion interventions and for what purposes, and it matters which populations are being overlooked. In Canada, current health promotion policy is informed by population health and social determinants of health (SDOH) perspectives, as demonstrated by Public Health Goals for Canada. With Canada's multicultural makeup comes the challenge of ensuring that diverse populations are equitably and effectively recognized in public health and health promotion policy.
Breton, Eric; De Leeuw, Evelyne
The Ottawa Charter laid the ground work for a new research and practice agenda by urging health promoters to advocate for healthy public policies. After more than 20 years, it is now time to reflect on the state of policy research in health promotion and to examine how rigorously theories are applied. The review of the literature was conducted on 11 peer-reviewed journals. The journals were selected for their solid track record in publishing health promotion articles and by using a set of pre-defined inclusion and exclusion criteria. The articles, published between January 1986 and June 2006, were searched using Medline and CINAHL databases. The selected papers feature search terms related to 'politics', 'policy', 'advocacy' and 'coalition'. We examined the theoretical grounding of each paper and whether it focuses on policy content (e.g. nature, impact, evolution of the policy), policy processes (e.g. advocacy capacity building and strategies) or theoretical/methodological issues in policy analysis. This review demonstrates that policy research in health promotion is still largely an a-theoretical enterprise. Out of the 119 articles that were found eligible, 39 did apply to some degree a theoretical framework, of which 21 referred to a theoretical framework from political science. We conclude that the field has yet to acknowledge critical concepts that would help to shed light on the policy process, and that validated rigorous theoretical frameworks to inform research and practice are hardly applied. Recommendations are formulated to improve policy research in health promotion.
Morrow, Georgina; Bowen, Kathryn
Background Climate change is expected to affect the health of most populations in the coming decades, having the greatest impact on the poorest and most disadvantaged people in the world. The Pacific islands, including Fiji, are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Objective The three major health impacts of climate change in Fiji explored in this study were dengue fever, diarrhoeal disease, and malnutrition, as they each pose a significant threat to human health. The aim of this study was to investigate to what extent the Fiji National Climate Change Policy, and a selection of relevant sectoral policies, account for these human health effects of climate change. Design The study employed a three-pronged policy analysis to evaluate: 1) the content of the Fijian National Climate Change Policy and to what extent health was incorporated within this; 2) the context within which the policy was developed; 3) the relevant processes; and 4) the actors involved. A selection of relevant sectoral policies were also analysed to assess the extent to which these included climate change and health considerations. Results The policy analysis showed that these three health impacts of climate change were only considered to a minor extent, and often indirectly, in both the Fiji National Climate Change Policy and the corresponding National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy, as well as the Public Health Act. Furthermore, supporting documents in relevant sectors including water and agriculture made no mention of climate change and health impacts. Conclusions The projected health impacts of climate change should be considered as part of reviewing the Fiji National Climate Change Policy and National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy, and the Public Health Act. In the interest of public health, this should include strategies for combating dengue fever, malnutrition, and water-borne disease. Related sectoral policies in water and agriculture should also be revised to
Conjoins policy questions, feminist theory, and discourse analysis to demonstrate the power of discourse in framing and managing gender policy that comes from marginal groups, challenges institutional privilege, and survives despite resistance and backlash. Descriptions of Australian gender policy were derived from participant observation,…
Diem, Sarah; Young, Michelle D.; Welton, Anjalé D.; Mansfield, Katherine Cumings; Lee, Pei-Ling
What counts as critical policy analysis in education? Over the past 30 years, a tightening of national educational policies can be seen in the USA and across the globe. Over this same period of time, a growing number of educational policy scholars, dissatisfied with traditional frameworks, have used critical frameworks in their analyses. Their…
Crosbie, David W
Over the past 15 years, governments have agreed to a series of National Mental Health Plans. These national strategies and plans have set goals and discussed the importance of monitoring and evaluation. Despite this ongoing national collaborative framework, Australia's mental health policy lacks real accountability and relies largely on limited mental health service systems data. The lack of outcome data represents a critical gap in knowledge for mental health policy, planning and practice. Resistance from current stakeholders and a lack of investment in research and monitoring capacity are preventing more rigorous ongoing monitoring of mental health policy. The new Rudd Government appears to be shifting the emphasis towards measuring the outcomes of national policy in health, housing and employment. Measuring such outcomes will guide government decision making and ultimately improve mental health services.
Beginning with a brief historical overview of health policy in the Netherlands from 1945-1960 (a period of restoration of the capitalist economy after World War II) until 1960-1970 (a period of capitalist expansion), this paper discusses the health policy of the Dutch state under the present conditions of economic crisis. The main characteristics of this policy are growing state intervention, reorganization of the decision-making process, deinstitutionalization of health care, a laissez-faire policy with regard to services in the so-called first echelon of the health sector, reprivatization of health costs, and an ideological emphasis on individual responsibility for health and self-care. The paper concludes with a discussion of the various strategies proposed for the health sector by the Left and the connection between prevention and social struggle.
The current national health policy in France is almost impossible to pin down and define, spread as it is across thirty or so schemes and a hundred or so targets set by a law adopted in 2004. Yet the current legislation defines the national health policy as a standard reference for public policies developed and implemented by the Ministry of Health and associated bodies. In addition, the current policy involves little consultation and is not systematically monitored and evaluated. Developing an interdepartmental health policy combining several intervention strategies and using different regulation tools may seem like an impossible task. It may also seem somewhat imprudent when it claims to define priorities and strategies. In order to overcome these difficulties and inherent contradictions, we need to develop a policy based on three key elements (a strategy, plans and policies, and policy decentralization and devolution). However, it is not enough to merely develop a framework; it is also important to define the steering and oversight plan, the consultation process and a monitoring and evaluation system. The foundations of a policy based on these principles have already been laid. The authorities simply need to continue along the lines of recent policy developments, including the creation of regional agencies (ARS), the creation of a national steering committee, and the various public health plans developed over the last 20 years.
Folz, Christina E
This roundtable examines the role of health services research from the perspective of the state legislature. Four research and policy experts—each of whom is a current or former legislator—explore how research can be translated effectively into state health policy, and how researchers and legislators can communicate clearly with one another and engage in productive collaborations. PMID:15762894
Unger, Jean-Pierre; De Paepe, Pierre; Ghilbert, Patricia; Soors, Werner; Green, Andrew
Abstract Purpose To review the evidence basis of international aid and health policy. Context of case Current international aid policy is largely neoliberal in its promotion of commoditization and privatisation. We review this policy's responsibility for the lack of effectiveness in disease control and poor access to care in low and middle-income countries. Data sources National policies, international programmes and pilot experiments are examined in both scientific and grey literature. Conclusions and discussion We document how health care privatisation has led to the pool of patients being cut off from public disease control interventions—causing health care disintegration—which in turn resulted in substandard performance of disease control. Privatisation of health care also resulted in poor access. Our analysis consists of three steps. Pilot local contracting-out experiments are scrutinized; national health care records of Colombia and Chile, two countries having adopted contracting-out as a basis for health care delivery, are critically examined against Costa Rica; and specific failure mechanisms of the policy in low and middle-income countries are explored. We conclude by arguing that the negative impact of neoliberal health policy on disease control and health care in low and middle-income countries justifies an alternative aid policy to improve both disease control and health care. PMID:17006553
Jakovljevic, Mihajlo B
The past 23 years of post-socialist restructuring of health system funding and management patterns has brought many changes to small Balkan markets, putting them under increasing pressure to keep pace with advancing globalization. Socioeconomic inequalities in healthcare access are still growing across the region. This uneven development is marked by the substantial difficulties encountered by local governments in delivering medical services to broad sectors of the population. This paper presents the results of a systematic review of the following evidence: published reports on health system reforms in the region commissioned by WHO, IMF, World Bank, OECD, European Commission; all available published evidence on health economics, funding, reimbursement in world/local languages since 1989 indexed at Medline, Excerpta Medica and Google Scholar; in depth analysis of official website data on medical care financing related legislation among key public institutions such as national Ministries of health, Health Insurance Funds, Professional Associations were applicable, in local languages; correspondence with key opinion leaders in the field in their respective communities. Contributors were asked to answer a particular set of questions related to the issue, thus enlightening fresh legislative developments and hidden patterns of policy maker's behavior. Cost awareness is slowly expanding in regional management, academic and industrial establishment. The study provides an exact and comprehensive description of its current extent and legislative framework. Western Balkans policy makers would profit substantially from health-economics-based decision-making to cope with increasing difficulties in funding and delivering medical care in emerging markets with a rapidly growing demand for health services.
Health care providers (HCP) and clinical scientists (CS) are generally most comfortable using evidence-based rational decision-making models. They become very frustrated when policymakers make decisions that, on the surface, seem irrational and unreasonable. However, such decisions usually make sense when analysed properly. The goal of this paper to provide a basic theoretical understanding of major policy models, to illustrate which models are most prevalent in publicly funded health care systems, and to propose a policy analysis framework to better understand the elements that drive policy decision-making. The proposed policy framework will also assist HCP and CS achieve greater success with their own proposals. PMID:28123917
Wild, Kayli; Kelly, Paul; Barclay, Lesley; Martins, Nelson
The evidence-based policy (EBP) movement has received significant attention in the scientific literature; however, there is still very little empirical research to provide insight into how policy decisions are made and how evidence is used. The lack of research on this topic in low- and middle-income countries is of particular note. We examine the maternity waiting home policy in Timor-Leste to understand the role of context, policy characteristics, individual actors, and how evidence is used to influence the policy agenda. The research tracked the maternity waiting home policy from 2005 to 2009 and is based on in-depth interviews with 31 senior policy-makers, department managers, non-government organization representatives, and United Nations advisors. It is also informed by direct observation, attendance at meetings and workshops, and analysis of policy documents. The findings from this ethnographic case study demonstrate that although the post-conflict context opened up space for new policy ideas senior Ministry of Health officials rather than donors had the most power in setting the policy agenda. Maternity waiting homes were appealing because they were a visible, non-controversial, and logical solution to the problem of accessing maternal health services. Evidence was used in a variety of ways, from supporting pre-determined agendas to informing new policy directions. In the pursuit of EBP, we conclude that the power of research to inform policy lies in its timeliness and relevance, and is facilitated by the connection between researchers and policy-makers.
Franco-Giraldo, Alvaro; Alvarez-Dardet, Carlos
Human rights outlined a better scenario for public policies in health. For it requires intersectoral and interdisciplinary approach. This article emphasizes the perspective of public health policies based on human rights, clarifies the relationship of public policies with the exercise of human rights, beyond the right to health. It recognizes the need to implement genuinely democratic and participatory mechanisms. It considers the universal declaration of human rights and other institutional expressions about the same as the international covenant on economic, social and cultural rights, discusses the ranking of the same and defend its entirety on the determinants of health through its cohesion and political factor. It defines a framework for public health and human rights that trend by strengthening social rights, as a new area of operation, based on public policies to address the determinants of health, upholding social justice, beyond the health field and the biological and behavioural risk factors to decisions arising from political power, exceeds medical solutions and access to health services. In conclusion, it promoting respect for human rights by greater understanding of them and strengthens the importance of indirect health policies (such as food, environment and health, violence gender) and the role of international policies in the global world.
This report assesses the impact of federal child health policy under Titles V and XIX of the Social Security Act upon the states of Connecticut and Vermont for the years 1935 to 1975, and analyzes the reasons for the discrepancy between policy intent and state execution. Two simultaneous approaches are used for data analysis: a cross sectional…
Resnik, David B
Government food and beverage policies can play an important role in promoting public health. Few people would question this assumption. Difficult questions can arise, however, when policymakers, public health officials, citizens, and businesses deliberate about food and beverage policies, because competing values may be at stake, such as public health, individual autonomy, personal responsibility, economic prosperity, and fairness. An ethically justified policy strikes a reasonable among competing values by meeting the following criteria: (1) the policy serves important social goal(s); (2) the policy is likely to be effective at achieving those goal(s); (3) less burdensome options are not likely to be effective at achieving the goals; (4) the policy is fair.
Surjadjaja, Claudia; Mayhew, Susannah H
The relevance and importance of research for understanding policy processes and influencing policies has been much debated, but studies on the effectiveness of policy theories for predicting and informing opportunities for policy change (i.e. prospective policy analysis) are rare. The case study presented in this paper is drawn from a policy analysis of a contemporary process of policy debate on legalization of abortion in Indonesia, which was in flux at the time of the research and provided a unique opportunity for prospective analysis. Applying a combination of policy analysis theories, this case study provides an analysis of processes, power and relationships between actors involved in the amendment of the Health Law in Indonesia. It uses a series of practical stakeholder mapping tools to identify power relations between key actors and what strategic approaches should be employed to manage these to enhance the possibility of policy change. The findings show how the moves to legalize abortion have been supported or constrained according to the balance of political and religious powers operating in a macro-political context defined increasingly by a polarized Islamic-authoritarian—Western-liberal agenda. The issue of reproductive health constituted a battlefield where these two ideologies met and the debate on the current health law amendment became a contest, which still continues, for the larger future of Indonesia. The findings confirm the utility of policy analysis theories and stakeholder mapping tools for predicting the likelihood of policy change and informing the strategic approaches for achieving such change. They also highlight opportunities and dilemmas in prospective policy analysis and raise questions about whether research on policy processes and actors can or should be used to inform, or even influence, policies in ‘real-time’. PMID:21183461
Tamblyn, Robyn; McMahon, Meghan; Girard, Nadyne; Drake, Elizabeth; Nadigel, Jessica; Gaudreau, Kim
Background: Health services and policy research is the innovation engine of a health care system. In 2000, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) was formed to foster the growth of all sciences that could improve health care. We evaluated trends in health services and policy research funding, in addition to determinants of funding success. Methods: All applications submitted to CIHR strategic and open operating grant competitions between 2001 and 2011 were included in our analysis. Age, sex, size of research team, critical mass, season, year and research discipline were retrieved from application information. A cohort of 4725 applicants successfully funded between 2001 and 2005 were followed for 5 years to evaluate predictors of continuous funding. Multivariate generalized estimating equation logistic regression was used to estimate predictors of funding success and sustained funding. Results: Between 2001 and 2011, 80 163 applications were submitted to open and strategic grant competitions. Over time, grant applications increased from 327 to 1137 per year, and annual funding increased from $12.6 to $48.0 million. Grant applications from young male researchers were more likely to be funded than those from female researchers (odds ratio [OR] 1.40, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.01-1.95), as were applications from larger research teams and institutions with a large critical mass. Only 24.0% of scientists whose first funded grant was in health services and policy research had sustained 5-year funding, compared with 52.8% of biomedical scientists (OR 0.34, 95% CI 0.24-0.49). Interpretation: The CIHR has successfully increased the amount of health services and policy research in Canada. To enhance conditions for success, researchers should be encouraged to work in teams, request longer duration grants, resubmit unsuccessful applications and affiliate themselves with institutions with a greater critical mass. PMID:27398366
Peters, David H; Rao, K Sujatha; Fryatt, Robert
India's health system was designed in a different era, when expectations of the public and private sectors were quite different. India's population is also undergoing transitions in the demographic, epidemiologic and social aspects of health. Disparities in life expectancy, disease, access to health care and protection from financial risks have increased. These factors are challenging the health system to respond in new ways. The old approach to national health policies and programmes is increasingly inappropriate. By analyzing inter- and intra-state differences in contexts and processes, we argue that the content of national health policy needs to be more diverse and accommodating to specific states and districts. More 'splitting' of India's health policy at the state level would better address their health problems, and would open the way to innovation and local accountability. States further along the health transition would be able to develop policies to deal with the emerging epidemic of non-communicable diseases and more appropriate health financing systems. States early in the transition would need to focus on improving the quality and access of essential public health services, and empowering communities to take more ownership. Better 'lumping' of policy issues at the central level is also needed, but not in ways that have been done in the past. The central government needs to focus on overcoming the large inequalities in health outcomes across India, tackle growing challenges to health such as the HIV epidemic, and provide the much needed leadership on systemic issues such as the development of systems for quality assurance and regulation of the private sector. It also needs to support and facilitate states and districts to develop critical capacities rather than directly manage programmes. As India develops a more diverse set of state health policies, there will be more opportunities to learn what works in different policy environments.
Díaz-Castro, Lina; Arredondo, Armando; Pelcastre-Villafuerte, Blanca Estela; Hufty, Marc
ABSTRACT OBJECTIVE To analyze the conceptualization of the term governance on public mental health programs. METHODS In this systematic review, we analyzed the scientific literature published in the international scenario during 15 years (from 2000 to 2015). The databases analyzed were: Medline, CINAHL, PsycINFO and PubMed. Governance and mental health were the descriptors. We included relevant articles according to our subject of study and levels of analysis: (i) the concept of governance in mental health; (ii) process and decision spaces; (iii) strategic and pertinent actors who operate in the functioning of the health system, and (iv) social regulations. We excluded letters to the editor, news articles, comments and case reports, incomplete articles and articles whose approach did not include the object of study of this review. RESULTS We have found five conceptualizations of the term governance on mental health in the area of provision policies and service organization. The agents were both those who offer and those who receive the services: we identified several social norms. CONCLUSIONS The concept of governance in mental health includes standards of quality and attention centered on the patient, and incorporates the consumers of mental healthcare in the decision-making process. PMID:28146159
Glied, Sherry A; Miller, Erin A
Two prior studies, conducted in 1966 and in 1979, examined the role of economic research in health policy development. Both concluded that health economics had not been an important contributor to policy. Passage of the Affordable Care Act offers an opportunity to reassess this question. We find that the evolution of health economics research has given it an increasingly important role in policy. Research in the field has followed three related paths over the past century-institutionalist research that described problems; theoretical research, which proposed relationships that might extend beyond existing institutions; and empirical assessments of structural parameters identified in the theoretical research. These three strands operating in concert allowed economic research to be used to predict the fiscal and coverage consequences of alternative policy paths. This ability made economic research a powerful policy force. Key conclusions of health economics research are clearly evident in the Affordable Care Act.
de Leeuw, Evelyne
Health is created largely outside the health sector. Engagement in health governance, policy, and intervention development and implementation by sectors other than health is therefore important. Recent calls for building and implementing Health in All Policies, and continued arguments for intersectoral action, may strengthen the potential that other sectors have for health. This review clarifies the conceptual foundations for integral health governance, policy, and action, delineates the different sectors and their possible engagement, and provides an overview of a continuum of methods of engagement with other sectors to secure integration. This continuum ranges from institutional (re)design to value-based narratives. Depending on the lens applied, different elements can be identified within the continuum. This review is built on insights from political science, leadership studies, public health, empirical Health in All Policy research, knowledge and evidence nexus approaches, and community perspectives. Successful integration of health governance, policy, and action depends on integration of the elements on the continuum.
Abo, Melissa M; Slater, Michael D; Jain, Parul
Health conditions are sometimes included in entertainment media comedies as a context for and as a source of humor. Food allergies are a typical case in point: They are potentially life-threatening yet may be used in humorous contexts. We conducted a content analysis of food allergies in entertainment media and tested the effects of humorous portrayals from an exemplar entertainment program. The content analysis confirmed that when food allergies were portrayed in television and the movies, it was most frequently in a humorous context and often contained inaccurate information. A follow-up experiment showed viewing a humorous portrayal of food allergies had an indirect negative effect on related health policy support via decreased perceived seriousness of food allergies. Inclusion of an educational video eliminated this effect on reduced policy support, with cognitive dissonance as a mediator. Findings support the hypothesis that portraying a health condition in a humorous context may reduce perceptions of seriousness and willingness to support public health policies to address risks associated with the condition, supporting and extending prior research findings.
Schroeder, Shawnda M
In the spring of 2014, the North Dakota Center for Rural Health (CRH) was tasked with completing an objective assessment of the state oral health environment. This included an assessment of oral health status, review of workforce needs, evaluation of current oral health programs, and policy recommendations to ameliorate identified oral health needs. The report was prepared for the North Dakota Legislative Health Services Interim Committee. This article highlights a research method developed and employed to identify current population health status and policy recommendations through statewide collaboration, transparent process, and objective analyses, regardless of the health specialty of focus. Evidenced-based decision making in health policy requires more than presentation of data. It requires input from the population or community utilizing or struggling to gain access to the given health service. It is now understood that health services researchers must employ a variety of research methods, include end users in the research process, tailor presentation of the findings for the appropriate audience, and include the population of study in the research, allowing them to provide recommended solutions when possible. Although the effort to be described focused specifically on oral health in North Dakota, the methodologies used to answer the research questions could, and are encouraged to, be employed in other states with regard to other specialty health disciplines and population health studies. The study sought to answer 3 questions: (1) What is the population health need?; (2) What is already being done?; and (3) What are the recommendations to improve population health? (Population Health Management 2016;19:216-223).
Donelan, Karen; Buerhaus, Peter I; DesRoches, Catherine; Burke, Sheila P
Although registered nurses rank similarly with physicians in the public's esteem, physicians are more visible than nurses in media coverage, public policy, and political spheres. Thus, nursing workforce issues are overshadowed by those of other health priorities, including Medicare and health reform. The purpose of this research was to understand the visibility and salience of the health workforce in general, gain an understanding about the effectiveness of messages concerning the nursing workforce in particular, and to understand why nursing workforce issues do not appear to have gained more traction in national health care policymaking. The National Survey of Thoughtleaders about the Health Workforce was administered via mail, telephone and online to health workforce and policy thoughtleaders from August 2009-October 2009. Of 301 thoughtleaders contacted, 123 completed questionnaires for a response rate of 41%. Thoughtleaders agree that nurses are critical to the quality and safety of our healthcare system, that there are current nursing shortages, and that nursing shortages will be intensified by health reform. Thoughtleaders reported that while they do hear about nursing issues frequently, they do not view most sources of information as proposing effective policy solutions. This study highlights a critical gap in effective policy advocacy and leadership to advance nurse workforce issues higher on the national health agenda.
OBJECTIVES: Despite the central influence of public policies on health and welfare, relatively little is known about actual health care policy-making processes. This presentation will offer preliminary results from a federally funded project aimed at gaining insights into the interrelations among interest-group strategies, media discourses and political debates in health care. The policy debate on health care privatization in Quebec is used as a case study. APPROACH: Two sources of data were used: media sources and political debates. Media sources were the six main provincial newspapers in Quebec, two national newspapers and The Canadian Press, as well as transcripts from specific news-related programs of three national television stations and two national radio stations. Political debates were obtained through transcripts of all question periods in the Parliament and debates in the standing committee on health. Sources were systematically searched to identify all relevant data. Multiple search syntaxes were developed and tested to maximize sensitivity and specificity. All data was entered and coded into qualitative analysis software. RESULTS: Data was analyzed longitudinally from June 2005 to January 1, 2010. Four levels of results will be presented: 1) Descriptive analysis of the interest groups involved, their policy preferences and the rhetoric they employed to support their views. 2) Descriptive analysis of the main policy proposals that structured the debate as well as of the coalition of groups behind those proposals. 3) Graphic longitudinal analysis of the intensity of the debate and of the relative importance and evolution of various policy proposals. 4) Preliminary results on the nature, direction and level of inter-influence between the policy and media agendas. CONCLUSION: This presentation provides empirical evidence on current policy-making processes in health care. It shows, unsurprisingly, that policy-making is a circumvoluted process of inter
A meaningful national oral health policy is essential to have an impact on the oral health of women and children in our country. The federal government must exert strong leadership to promote oral health as an integral component of total health. The public and private sectors of the dental and health professions must work together in developing, promoting, and supporting this policy on the local, state, and national level to make an impact on the oral health of the people of our nation. This policy must include incentives, resources, evaluation, and community participation, to assure that the purpose of the policy is achieved. Mark Twain once said: "Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit still." A national policy by itself is not enough. This policy must also include an implementation strategy with constituency support and advocacy so that the policy is implemented in an effective manner through organized community efforts to improve the oral health of women, children, and our nation.
DiCenso, Alba; Housden, Laura; Heale, Roberta; Carter, Nancy; Canitz, Brenda; MacDonald-Rencz, Sandra; Buckley, Christine Rieck
Health services research benefits from the active engagement of researchers and policy makers from generation through to application of research-based knowledge. One approach to help graduate students learn about the policy world is through participation in a policy practicum. This is an opportunity to work for a defined period of time in a setting where policy decisions are made. This article focuses on the integration of the policy practicum into graduate nursing education for advanced practice nurses. Ten graduate students and two postdoctoral fellows who had recently completed their practicums and three policy makers who had recently supervised students in provincial, federal, and international practicum projects were invited to submit a narrative about the experience. Based on qualitative analysis of the narratives, this article outlines objectives of the practicum, the policy practicum journey, student learning, and finally, the benefits and challenges of the experience.
Hernández Aguado, Ildefonso; Lumbreras Lacarra, Blanca
Independence in the formulation of public health policies can be affected by various agents with objectives contrary to population health, such as large corporations. This lack of independence may be exacerbated by the economic crisis due to lower funding for health regulatory bodies or other measures designed to protect health. Large corporations have influenced the formulation of certain policies with an impact on health, such as those related to the tobacco industry, the chemical industry, nutrition, alcohol, pharmaceuticals, and health technology. The main areas in which these companies can influence policies are science, education, politics, and society in general. In this scenario, public health associations should take an active role in ensuring the independence of political decisions via actions such as the following: supporting strategies that guarantee the independence of public health policies and apply criteria of impartiality and transparency; rejecting those public-private partnerships launched to prevent health problems partly caused by these corporations; establishing partnerships to achieve independent training of health professionals and an institution with scientific authority in order to improve public health communication and counteract the lack of sound public health information; promoting a critical analysis of the definition of health problems and their solutions, and establishing related agendas (scientific, political and media) and alliances, so that continuing training for health professionals is independent.
Robertson, Lorayne; Thomson, Dianne
Body image is an individual's emotional response to one's appearance including size and shape; this response may not be helpful in the pursuit of overall health and well-being. This policy analysis examines the treatment of body image in Canadian Health and Physical Education (HPE) curriculum policies using a body image analysis framework…
Gonzalez-Block, Miguel A
Background Health policy and systems research (HPSR) is an international public good with potential to orient investments and performance at national level. Identifying research trends and priorities at international level is therefore important. This paper offers a conceptual framework and defines the HPSR portfolio as a set of research projects under implementation. The research portfolio is influenced by factors external to the research system as well as internal to it. These last include the capacity of research institutions, the momentum of research programs, funding opportunities and the influence of stakeholder priorities and public opinion. These dimensions can vary in their degree of coordination, leading to a complementary or a fragmented research portfolio. Objective The main objective is to identify the themes currently being pursued in the research portfolio and agendas within developing countries and to quantify their frequency in an effort to identify current research topics and their underlying influences. Methods HPSR topics being pursued by developing country producer institutions and their perceived priorities were identified through a survey between 2000 and 2002. The response to a call for letters of intent issued by the Alliance in 2000 for a broad range of topics was also analyzed. The institutions that were the universe of this study consisted of the 176 institutional partners of the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research producing research in low and middle income countries outside Europe. HPSR topics as well as the beneficiaries or issues and the health problems addressed were content analyzed. Topics were classified into 19 categories and their frequency analyzed across groups of countries with similar per capita income. Agendas were identified by analyzing the source of funding and of project initiation for projects under implementation. Results The highest ranking topic at the aggregate level is "Sector analysis", followed by
Gonzalez-Block, Miguel A
BACKGROUND: Health policy and systems research (HPSR) is an international public good with potential to orient investments and performance at national level. Identifying research trends and priorities at international level is therefore important. This paper offers a conceptual framework and defines the HPSR portfolio as a set of research projects under implementation. The research portfolio is influenced by factors external to the research system as well as internal to it. These last include the capacity of research institutions, the momentum of research programs, funding opportunities and the influence of stakeholder priorities and public opinion. These dimensions can vary in their degree of coordination, leading to a complementary or a fragmented research portfolio. OBJECTIVE: The main objective is to identify the themes currently being pursued in the research portfolio and agendas within developing countries and to quantify their frequency in an effort to identify current research topics and their underlying influences. METHODS: HPSR topics being pursued by developing country producer institutions and their perceived priorities were identified through a survey between 2000 and 2002. The response to a call for letters of intent issued by the Alliance in 2000 for a broad range of topics was also analyzed. The institutions that were the universe of this study consisted of the 176 institutional partners of the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research producing research in low and middle income countries outside Europe. HPSR topics as well as the beneficiaries or issues and the health problems addressed were content analyzed. Topics were classified into 19 categories and their frequency analyzed across groups of countries with similar per capita income. Agendas were identified by analyzing the source of funding and of project initiation for projects under implementation. RESULTS: The highest ranking topic at the aggregate level is "Sector analysis", followed
Stimson, John; Stimson, Ardyth
An eight-course curriculum in social policy analysis which follows a policy analysis paradigm is proposed. The undergraduate curriculum concentrates on the ability to appreciate and operate under uncertainty; anticipation of interrelated, unexpected ramifications of new stimuli; understanding of the social construction of problems and their cures;…
Leider, J. P.; Carothers, Bobbi J.; Castrucci, Brian C.; Hearne, Shelley
Context: Local health departments (LHDs) have historically not prioritized policy development, although it is one of the 3 core areas they address. One strategy that may influence policy in LHD jurisdictions is the formation of partnerships across sectors to work together on local public health policy. Design: We used a network approach to examine LHD local health policy partnerships across 15 large cities from the Big Cities Health Coalition. Setting/Participants: We surveyed the health departments and their partners about their working relationships in 5 policy areas: core local funding, tobacco control, obesity and chronic disease, violence and injury prevention, and infant mortality. Outcome Measures: Drawing on prior literature linking network structures with performance, we examined network density, transitivity, centralization and centrality, member diversity, and assortativity of ties. Results: Networks included an average of 21.8 organizations. Nonprofits and government agencies made up the largest proportions of the networks, with 28.8% and 21.7% of network members, whereas for-profits and foundations made up the smallest proportions in all of the networks, with just 1.2% and 2.4% on average. Mean values of density, transitivity, diversity, assortativity, centralization, and centrality showed similarity across policy areas and most LHDs. The tobacco control and obesity/chronic disease networks were densest and most diverse, whereas the infant mortality policy networks were the most centralized and had the highest assortativity. Core local funding policy networks had lower scores than other policy area networks by most network measures. Conclusion: Urban LHDs partner with organizations from diverse sectors to conduct local public health policy work. Network structures are similar across policy areas jurisdictions. Obesity and chronic disease, tobacco control, and infant mortality networks had structures consistent with higher performing networks, whereas
Page, G.W.; Bobyleva, O.A.; Naboka, M.V.
The 1986 accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine produced severe environmental health problems. This paper reports on the environmental health conditions in Ukraine after the accident and the health policy approaches employed to respond to the environmental conditions and health problems. Crisis conditions and a period of rapid change in Ukraine contributed to the difficulties of developing and implementing policy to address serious environmental health problems. Despite these difficulties, Ukraine is taking effective action. The paper describes the primary environmental health problem areas and the efforts taken to solve them. The effect of intense public fear of radiation on policymaking is described. The paper discusses the ability of public fear to distort health policy towards certain problems, leaving problems of greater importance with fewer resources. 35 refs., 1 fig.
Machado, Cristiani Vieira; Baptista, Tatiana Wargas de Faria; Nogueira, Carolina de Oliveira
This article analyzes Brazilian national health priorities from 2003 to 2008 under the Lula Administration. The study included a literature review, document analysis, and interviews with Federal health administrators. Four priorities were identified on the national health agenda: the Family Health Program, Smiling Brazil, Mobile Emergency Services, and the Popular Pharmacy Program. The first is a policy with high institutional density launched by the previous Administration, constituting an example of path dependence. The other three are innovations in areas where there had been weaknesses in Federal government action. The four policy priorities are strategies focused on solving key problems in the Brazilian health system. However, they display important differences in their historical development, political and institutional base, inclusion on the Federal agenda, and implications for the principles of the Unified National Health System. Although incremental changes have been introduced, national health policy has been characterized predominantly by continuity.
Luck, Jeff; Yoon, Jangho; Bernell, Stephanie; Tynan, Michael; Alvarado, Carla Sarai; Eversole, Tom; Mosbaek, Craig; Beathard, Candice
The Oregon Public Health Policy Institute (PHPI) was designed to enhance public health policy competencies among state and local health department staff. The Oregon Health Authority funded the College of Public Health and Human Sciences at Oregon State University to develop the PHPI curriculum in 2012 and offer it to participants from 4 state public health programs and 5 local health departments in 2013. The curriculum interspersed short instructional sessions on policy development, implementation, and evaluation with longer hands-on team exercises in which participants applied these skills to policy topics their teams had selected. Panel discussions provided insights from legislators and senior Oregon health experts. Participants reported statistically significant increases in public health policy competencies and high satisfaction with PHPI overall.
Reducing harm from drug use lies at the intersection of public health, public policy, politics and policing. In an ideal world, evidence of public health gains achievable through new approaches or technologies should inform public policy, should help shape political agendas in support of policy change, which should translate into law and regulations – and then to their application. The goal of this transformative process should be to yield the highest attainable health benefits to vulnerable individuals and communities and to society as a whole. PMID:22769027
Jönsson, Kristina; Phoummalaysith, Bounfeng; Wahlström, Rolf; Tomson, Göran
During the last 20 years Lao People's Democratic Republic has successfully developed and adopted some 30 health policies, strategies, decrees and laws in the field of health. Still, the implementation process remains arduous. This article aims at discussing challenges of health policy development and effective implementation by contextualizing the policy evolution over time and by focusing particularly on the National Drug Policy and the Health Care Law. Special attention is given to the role of research in policymaking. The analysis was guided by the conceptual framework of policy context, process, content and actors, combined with an institutional perspective, and showed that effective implementation of a health policy is highly dependent on both structures and agency of those involved in the policy process. The National Drug Policy was formulated and adopted in a short period of time in a resource-scarce setting, but with dedicated policy entrepreneurs and support of concerned international collaborators. Timely introduction of operational health systems research played a crucial role to support the implementation, as well as the subsequent revision of the policy. The development of the Health Care Law took several years and once adopted, the implementation was delayed by institutional legacies and issues concerning the choice of institutional design and financing, despite strong support of the law among the policymakers. Among many factors, timing of the implementation appeared to be of crucial importance, in combination with strong leadership. These two examples show that more research, that problematizes the complex policy environment in combination with improved communication between researchers and policymakers, is necessary to inform about measures for effective implementation. A way forward can be to strengthen the domestic research capacity and the international research collaboration regionally as well as globally.
Jönsson, Kristina; Phoummalaysith, Bounfeng; Wahlström, Rolf; Tomson, Göran
During the last 20 years Lao People’s Democratic Republic has successfully developed and adopted some 30 health policies, strategies, decrees and laws in the field of health. Still, the implementation process remains arduous. This article aims at discussing challenges of health policy development and effective implementation by contextualizing the policy evolution over time and by focusing particularly on the National Drug Policy and the Health Care Law. Special attention is given to the role of research in policymaking. The analysis was guided by the conceptual framework of policy context, process, content and actors, combined with an institutional perspective, and showed that effective implementation of a health policy is highly dependent on both structures and agency of those involved in the policy process. The National Drug Policy was formulated and adopted in a short period of time in a resource-scarce setting, but with dedicated policy entrepreneurs and support of concerned international collaborators. Timely introduction of operational health systems research played a crucial role to support the implementation, as well as the subsequent revision of the policy. The development of the Health Care Law took several years and once adopted, the implementation was delayed by institutional legacies and issues concerning the choice of institutional design and financing, despite strong support of the law among the policymakers. Among many factors, timing of the implementation appeared to be of crucial importance, in combination with strong leadership. These two examples show that more research, that problematizes the complex policy environment in combination with improved communication between researchers and policymakers, is necessary to inform about measures for effective implementation. A way forward can be to strengthen the domestic research capacity and the international research collaboration regionally as well as globally. PMID:24740710
Glass, Gene V., Ed.
This electronic journal covers a variety of issues related to educational policy. The 22 articles (issues) of Volume 5 analyze aspects of policy in the United States and other countries for elementary, secondary, and higher education. Articles include: (1) "Markets and Myths: Autonomy in Public and Private schools" (Glass); (2) "Where Have All the…
Shen, Gordon C
Background: Following the tenets of world polity and innovation diffusion theories, I focus on the coercive and mimetic forces that influence the diffusion of mental health policy across nations. International organizations’ mandates influence government behavior. Dependency on external resources, namely foreign aid, also affects governments’ formulation of national policy. And finally, mounting adoption in a region alters the risk, benefits, and information associated with a given policy. Methods: I use post-war, discrete time data spanning 1950 to 2011 and describing 193 nations’ mental health systems to test these diffusion mechanisms. Results: I find that the adoption of mental health policy is highly clustered temporally and spatially. Results provide support that membership in the World Health Organization (WHO), interdependence with neighbors and peers in regional blocs, national income status, and migrant sub-population are responsible for isomorphism. Aid, however, is an insufficient determinant of mental health policy adoption. Conclusion: This study examines the extent to which mental, neurological, and substance use disorder are addressed in national and international contexts through the lens of policy diffusion theory. It also adds to policy dialogues about non-communicable diseases as nascent items on the global health agenda. PMID:25337601
National Assembly on School-Based Health Care, 2012
The National Assembly on School-Based Health Care (NASBHC) surveys state public health and Medicaid offices every three years to assess state-level public policies and activities that promote the growth and sustainability of school-based health services. The FY2011 survey found 18 states (see map below) reporting investments explicitly dedicated…
de Kadt, E
As in any area of socio-economic reality, ideological interpretations influence our understanding of matters to health and health policy. Ideologies simplify and fudge issues. Yet ideologies, social movements and social research relate to each other in complex ways, and there are also innovative and creative aspects to this relationship. After a brief general discussion of ideologies, the paper examines the significant insights gained from analysing the role of ideologies (dominant, radical and subordinate) in class societies: much of this is relevant, by analogy, to the field of health. Various explanations of health and ill-health are then discussed. While capitalist socio-economic organization has undoubtedly had negative health effects, capitalist societies are neither as uniform nor as unreformable as Marxist analysis (and ideology) suggests. Similarly, there is exaggeration in Illich's description of the ills of industrialism. Yet his concept of the medicalization of health helps to understand how the dominant conception of medicine and ideologies dominant among health professionals interact to create institutions--also in wider areas of health planning--that express the power of physicians and benefit elites. These effects are particularly acute in capitalist societies. As for the problems and achievements in health of so-called socialist countries, these are frequently presented through rose-coloured spectacles, thereby hindering a realistic assessment of alternative policies for moving towards Health for All by the Year 2000, WHO's current organizing make-shift and contradiction, especially with regard to the ideas of 'political will' and 'community participation'. The paper ends with a discussion of the latter concept. In practice this may mean little more than co-option and contribution, or it may give people a genuine chance to influence what deeply affects them. It does not help to erase such fundamental differences by the ideological language of
de Leeuw, Evelyne; Clavier, Carole; Breton, Eric
The establishment of policy is key to the implementation of actions for health. We review the nature of policy and the definition and directions of health policy. In doing so, we explicitly cast a health political science gaze on setting parameters for researching policy change for health. A brief overview of core theories of the policy process for health promotion is presented, and illustrated with empirical evidence. The key arguments are that (a) policy is not an intervention, but drives intervention development and implementation; (b) understanding policy processes and their pertinent theories is pivotal for the potential to influence policy change; (c) those theories and associated empirical work need to recognise the wicked, multi-level, and incremental nature of elements in the process; and, therefore, (d) the public health, health promotion, and education research toolbox should more explicitly embrace health political science insights. The rigorous application of insights from and theories of the policy process will enhance our understanding of not just how, but also why health policy is structured and implemented the way it is.
"Promoting Student Achievement through Improved Health Policy" is a quick primer of the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] CDC's "Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child" model, which highlights 10 important areas for connecting health and learning: health education; physical education and physical activity;…
Withers, M; Dornig, K; Morisky, D E
Based on the literature, we identified manager and establishment characteristics that we hypothesized are related to workplace policies that support HIV protective behavior. We developed a sexual health policy index consisting of 11 items as our outcome variable. We utilized both bivariate and multivariate analysis of variance. The significant variables in our bivariate analyses (establishment type, number of employees, manager age, and membership in manager association) were entered into a multivariate regression model. The model was significant (p<.01), and predicted 42) of the variability in the development and management of a workplace sexual health policy supportive of condom use. The significant predictors were number of employees and establishment type. In addition to individually-focused CSW interventions, HIV prevention programs should target managers and establishment policies. Future HIV prevention programs may need to focus on helping smaller establishments, in particular those with less employees, to build capacity and develop sexual health policy guidelines.
Katsikas, Sokratis; Kokolakis, Spyros
Health Care Establishments (HCE) are today highly dependent upon Information and Communications Technologies (ICT). This increasing reliance upon ICT has stressed the need to foster security in Healthcare Information Systems (HIS). Security policies may have a significant contribution to this effort, but they could become the cause of portability and interoperability problems. Moreover, policies that fail to take into account all the aspects of HIS security, the legal and regulatory requirements, and the existence of several stakeholders may lead to ineffective or inefficient security measures. Policies of a special category, named Generic Security Policies (GSP), should be developed to provide policy-level harmonisation and guidance to policy-makers within HCE. Six such policies are comparatively reviewed herein.
Debrand, Thierry; Dourgnon, Paul
The Institut de Recherche et Documentation en Economie de la Santé (IRDES) Workshop on Applied Health Economics and Policy Evaluation aims at disseminating health economic research's newest findings and enhancing the community's capacity to address issues that are relevant to public policy. The 2010 program consisted of 16 articles covering a vast range of topics, such as health insurance, social health inequalities and health services research. While most of the articles embedded theoretical material, all had to include empirical material in order to favor more applied and practical discussions and results. The 2010 workshop is to be the first of a series of annual workshops in Paris gathering together researchers on health economics and policy evaluation. The next workshop is to be held at IRDES in June 2011.
García-Ramírez, Jorge A; Vélez-Álvarez, Consuelo
The study was aimed at identifying Latin-American countries' public policy which has been related to the social determinants of health. A topic review was thus made of papers kept in the 22 Latin-American countries' databases and official documents issued by their multilateral organisations and ministries of health. The World Health Organization's concept of the social determinants of health has been summarised and a history given of the pertinent work developed worldwide in regions such as Europe and Latin-America. Public policy regarding the field of study in Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, México and Venezuela has been described. It was concluded that Latin-America provides a panorama of inequality regarding the application of policy concerning the social determinants of health and that there was segmented intervention, mainly regarding intermediate determinants of health, without taking an integrated approach from different entrance points into account, according to the stated conceptual framework.
Ugalde, A; Jackson, J T
In 1993, the World Bank released the World Development Report: Investing in Health, its public statement of what it believes to be sound international health policy. This paper critically examines the report with regard to the applicability of its recommendations to the Third World. It looks at the World Bank and its critics, the Bank's view of development, the globalization of health policy making, and profits for multinationals. Report recommendations on privatization, decentralization, cost recovery fees, nutrition, and essential drug programs are analyzed, with the authors concluding that the World Bank's approach to health fits its ideologically-driven development model which favors Northern nations at the expense of the South. Moreover, the DALY index has major theoretical flaws and is of little value as a guide to health policy makers. The index could be used to deny essential health services to the poor in developing countries.
Corn, Jacqueline Karnell
This book explores the history of asbestos in schools and buildings and how this issue shaped the development of public health policy. It provides insight into past policy including how and why action was taken and who caused it to be taken; it also offers guidance for the scientific and regulatory communities in the future. While explaining…
De Pian, Laura
This paper examines the multiple ways in which health policy relating to obesity, diet and exercise is recontextualised and mediated by teachers and pupils in the context of social class in the UK. Drawing on a case study of a middle-class primary school in central England, the paper documents the complexity of the policy process, its uncertainty,…
Weissert, C S; Weissert, W G
State legislative staff may influence health policy by gathering intelligence, setting the agenda, and shaping the legislative proposals. But they may also be stymied in their roles by such institutional constraints as hiring practices and by turnover in committee leadership in the legislature. The intervening variable of trust between legislators and their support staff is also key to understanding influence and helps explain how staff-legislator relationships play an important role in designing state health policy. This study of legislative fiscal and health policy committee staff uses data from interviews with key actors in five states to model the factors important in explaining variation in the influence of committee staff on health policy.
Sleet, David A; Schieber, Richard A; Gilchrist, Julie
Health promotion policies--including laws that regulate safe products, environments, and behaviors--are among the most effective mechanisms for reducing childhood injuries for large segments of the population. In this article, five examples of safety legislation and regulation to reduce childhood injury are described. Two such efforts are aimed at preventing injury-producing events from occurring: child-resistant packaging for medications and hazardous substances, and graduated licensing for teen drivers. Three other examples illustrate the value and complexities of policies designed to prevent an injury once a hazardous event has occurred: bicycle helmet legislation, children's sleepwear standards, and child safety seat laws. One important role of health promotion is to tackle not only how health promotion policies and politics can improve child health, but also how to educate legislators and policy makers in the process.
A discussion of the relationships, both biological and behavioral, among nutrition, population, and health in relation to government policy. Special emphasis is given to breast feeding and child survival. (BB)
What explains the widening disparities in child health and social circumstance in Canada? And why do we tolerate such inequality? In the present commentary, the author argues that to understand - and ultimately influence - the trajectory of child health and well-being in our country, we must attend to the impact of social policy on the life chances of Canadian children. This, in turn, demands that we probe the fundamental values that guide social policy in modern welfare states and locate Canada's place in this political spectrum. The author explores the controversial tax policy of income-splitting to contextualize this discussion of values, and argues that our polity increasingly privileges economic liberty above equality or solidarity. Until those best positioned to advocate for children - including paediatricians and child health care providers - begin to engage with social policy, the health and well-being of Canada's children will remain a tale of two increasingly different worlds.
Sunyaev, Ali; Dehling, Tobias; Taylor, Patrick L; Mandl, Kenneth D
Mobile health (mHealth) customers shopping for applications (apps) should be aware of app privacy practices so they can make informed decisions about purchase and use. We sought to assess the availability, scope, and transparency of mHealth app privacy policies on iOS and Android. Over 35,000 mHealth apps are available for iOS and Android. Of the 600 most commonly used apps, only 183 (30.5%) had privacy policies. Average policy length was 1755 (SD 1301) words with a reading grade level of 16 (SD 2.9). Two thirds (66.1%) of privacy policies did not specifically address the app itself. Our findings show that currently mHealth developers often fail to provide app privacy policies. The privacy policies that are available do not make information privacy practices transparent to users, require college-level literacy, and are often not focused on the app itself. Further research is warranted to address why privacy policies are often absent, opaque, or irrelevant, and to find a remedy.
Myklebust, Monica; Colson, James; Kaufman, Jacqueline; Winsauer, Jeffery; Zhang, Yu Quin; Harris, Richard E
Acupuncture as a therapeutic modality offers multiple applications. Its effectiveness coupled with its general acceptance by conventional health care professionals makes it one of the first complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) modalities to be incorporated in an integrative approach to care. However, few centers that offer acupuncture have written standard policies to regulate its use. This lack of standard policies may impede provision of quality care, serve as a barrier to cross-institutional data collection and clinical application of that data, and may put health care professionals and institutions at risk when credentialing or malpractice liability has not been clearly addressed. Here we present a policy for acupuncture, created by a diverse group of health care professionals at the University of Michigan Health System. It may function as a generalizable template for standard policy development by institutions incorporating acupuncture.
Bazyar, Mohammad; Rashidian, Arash; Kane, Sumit; Vaez Mahdavi, Mohammad Reza; Akbari Sari, Ali; Doshmangir, Leila
There are fragmentations in Iran’s health insurance system. Multiple health insurance funds exist, without adequate provisions for transfer or redistribution of cross subsidy among them. Multiple risk pools, including several private secondary insurance schemes, have resulted in a tiered health insurance system with inequitable benefit packages for different segments of the population. Also fragmentation might have contributed to inefficiency in the health insurance systems, a low financial protection against healthcare expenditures for the insured persons, high coinsurance rates, a notable rate of insurance coverage duplication, low contribution of well-funded institutes with generous benefit package to the public health insurance schemes, underfunding and severe financial shortages for the public funds, and a lack of transparency and reliable data and statistics for policy-making. We have conducted a policy analysis study, including qualitative interviews of key informants and document analysis. As a result we introduce three policy options: keeping the existing structural fragmentations of social health insurance (SHI)schemes but implementing a comprehensive "policy integration" strategy; consolidation of existing health insurance funds and creating a single national health insurance scheme; and reducing fragmentation by merging minor well-resourced funds together and creating two or three large insurance funds under the umbrella of the existing organizations. These policy options with their advantages and disadvantages are explained in the paper. PMID:27239868
Fobil, Julius N.; Aryee, Eunice; Bilson, Francis; May, Juergen; Kraemer, Alexander
Vital registration systems (VRS) are important in the collection of routine data on indicators of development. These are particularly useful if they are properly built to address weaknesses in the system leading to poor data quality. For instance, routine data on health events (e.g. morbidity, mortality etc.) are crucial for rapid assessment of disease burden and mortality trends in the population. They are also useful in the identification of vulnerable groups in populations. Despite their usefulness, VRS in many developing countries including Ghana are poorly structured raising questions about the quality of the output data from these systems. The present study aimed at assessing and documenting the structure and function of the VRS in Ghana, as well as at identifying the structural features that potentially compromise the reliability and validity of the output data from the Ghanaian VRS. To perform this study, collection and review of policy and legal documents establishing the VRS, documentation and evaluation of component structures of the system, assessment of procedural protocols guiding data collection processes and in-depth interviews with staff at the Ghana Births and Deaths Registry were performed. The assessment of the structure of the Ghana VRS, policy documents setting it up and the operational procedures reveals important lapses (e.g. presence of outmoded practices, imperfections in Births and Deaths Registry Act, 1965, Act 301 and imperfect system design) in the system that could compromise validity and reliability of the data generated from the VRS in Ghana. PMID:28299047
Hanney, Stephen R; Gonzalez-Block, Miguel A; Buxton, Martin J; Kogan, Maurice
The importance of health research utilisation in policy-making, and of understanding the mechanisms involved, is increasingly recognised. Recent reports calling for more resources to improve health in developing countries, and global pressures for accountability, draw greater attention to research-informed policy-making. Key utilisation issues have been described for at least twenty years, but the growing focus on health research systems creates additional dimensions. The utilisation of health research in policy-making should contribute to policies that may eventually lead to desired outcomes, including health gains. In this article, exploration of these issues is combined with a review of various forms of policy-making. When this is linked to analysis of different types of health research, it assists in building a comprehensive account of the diverse meanings of research utilisation. Previous studies report methods and conceptual frameworks that have been applied, if with varying degrees of success, to record utilisation in policy-making. These studies reveal various examples of research impact within a general picture of underutilisation. Factors potentially enhancing utilisation can be identified by exploration of: priority setting; activities of the health research system at the interface between research and policy-making; and the role of the recipients, or 'receptors', of health research. An interfaces and receptors model provides a framework for analysis. Recommendations about possible methods for assessing health research utilisation follow identification of the purposes of such assessments. Our conclusion is that research utilisation can be better understood, and enhanced, by developing assessment methods informed by conceptual analysis and review of previous studies. PMID:12646071
Dopkeen, J C
One-fourth of all those over 65 have some form of employer-provided retirement medical benefits. For these retirees and dependents, having this medical coverage may mean the difference between retirement security and ruin; but for employers, providing it could mean serious financial strain or even a threat to survival. The unfunded liability for retirement medical coverage has been variously projected from +100 billion to nearly +2 trillion. Continuing corporate concerns over the costs of health care, and recent changes in federal policies regarding Medicare and the taxation of employee benefit funds, threaten to alter the system of postretirement health benefits substantially and perhaps irrevocably for many. Employers are being forced to reassess their retiree commitments. Some corporations have undertaken to modify and even eliminate postretirement medical coverage for those over 65. These changes will affect not only the corporations involved and their retirees, but also the national and state governments to whom retirees may turn for additional assistance in meeting their health care needs. The purpose of this synthesis is to explain the issue of postretirement health benefits (PRHBs) for both public and private sector policymakers who will be most involved with this issue over the next five years. The analysis identifies the issues involved, considers the dimensions of the problem, and attempts to assess the implications for the future. PMID:3106266
Tatto, Maria Teresa
This article outlines a framework for analysis of teacher focused policy studies within an international and comparative perspective. Using the notion of the professional life cycle of teachers, the article examines examples of key empirical studies that illustrate the impact of policy on addressing such issues as teacher recruitment, education,…
Pillay, Y G; Bond, P
South Africa's first democratic government is today confronted with the challenge of recasting apartheid social and health policies, transforming a moribund bureaucracy's mode of governance, and restructuring a variety of public and private institutions, including the national Department of Health. In the attempt to redress racial, gender, and class inequities, enormous barriers confront health policy analysts and planners, progressive politicians, and activists within civil society who work in the field of health. This article sets the broad social policy context for the emerging strategies, documents some of the continuing inequities in the health sector, and recounts some recent experiences in one of the nine provinces (KwaZulu-Natal). to illustrate the difficulties and potentials that change of this magnitude presents under the prevailing conditions of neoliberal politics and economics.
Acton, Jan; Levine, Robert
With an emphasis on planning and manipulating the supply of health personnel, this report suggests a method of determining state health manpower needs within the context of uncertain demand and incomplete control over supply. Using Illinois as a case in point, the report suggests that health manpower planning, especially at the state level, should…
Narvai, P C; Almeida, E S
The Brazilian scientific literature on social and preventive dentistry from 1986 to 1993 was identified and analyzed to verify whether themes of papers referred to health policy and the national health system. Published scientific articles were used as the unit of analysis for the study. An analytical survey was conducted considering the following variables, amongst others: author's institutional affiliation; author's title; author's areas of interest; type of research; type of article; and research funding sources. Articles reviewed were published between the First and Second National Oral Health Conferences. There were 386 articles published in 19 journals, by at least 866 authors. More than 75% of the studies came from public universities. RGO was the largest publisher in this field, followed by Revista da APCD. Original articles accounted for 56.7% of the studies, while 30.3% were reviews and essays. The majority of the authors were from the State of São Paulo. Male writers predominated. A 'quantitative deficiency' was identified, since scientific production remained below 50% of its potential. Health policy was considered a specific issue in only 3 articles (0.8%) while 7 (1.8%) discussed the national health system.
Newman, Lareen; Ludford, Isobel; Williams, Carmel; Herriot, Michele
Public policy strategies impact on population health by acting on the effectiveness, availability and distribution of the social determinants of health. Reducing obesity and promoting healthy weight is a key focus of governments, health promoters and researchers, and can benefit from a systems approach with 'upstream' policy action beyond the health sector. Although the literature identifies many areas for hypothetical non-health policy action, and in particular relating to food and activity environments, few have identified practical, politically viable and relatively cost-free processes by which non-health sectors would want to commit to such action. This article details how the Government of South Australia used the Health in All Policies (HiAP) approach in the SA HiAP Healthy Weight Project. It mapped the core business and policy directions of 44 state departments against research on 'what works' to address obesity. Negotiations then developed high-level policy commitments to address factors promoting healthy weight which predominantly changed ways of working rather than requiring new expenditure and also assisted departments in meeting their own goals; departmental chief executives endorsed the commitments. By starting from departmental documents, and not restricting the project to departments with more 'obvious' obesity prevention potential, we gained commitment to a broader range of policy actions than identified elsewhere; for example, for prisons, environment and botanic gardens, housing and vocational education. The SA HiAP Healthy Weight Project provides one example of a workable, evidence-based systems approach to increase commitment to practical and politically viable opportunities across government to address the non-health environments supporting healthy weight.
Laterveer, Leontien; Niessen, Louis W; Yazbeck, Abdo S
Since 1999, the International Monetary Fund and World Bank have required low-income countries soliciting for debt relief and financial support to prepare a Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP). The objective of this study is to arrive at a systematic assessment of the extent to which the first batch of interim PRSPs actually addresses the health of the poor and vulnerable. A literature study was used to design and test a semi-quantitative approach to assess the pro-poor focus of health policies in national documents. The approach was applied to the existing interim proposals for 23 Highly Indebted Poor Countries. Results show that a majority of proposals lack country-specific data on the distribution and composition of the burden of disease, a clear identification of health system constraints and an assessment of the impact of health services on the population. More importantly, they make little effort to analyze these issues in relation to the poor. Furthermore, only a small group explicitly includes the interests of the poor in health policy design. Attention to policies aiming at enhancing equity in public health spending is even more limited. Few papers that include expenditure proposals also show pro-poor focused health budgets. We conclude that our systematic assessment of a new international development policy instrument, PRSP, raises strong concerns about the attributed role of health in development and the limited emphasis on the poor, the supposed primary beneficiaries of this instrument. There is a need and an opportunity for the international development community to provide assistance and inputs as poor countries shift their policy thinking from an interim stage to fully developed national policies. This paper presents a menu of analytical and policy options that can be pursued.
Enyia, Okechuku Kelechi; Watkins, Yashika J; Williams, Quintin
African American men's health has at times been regarded as irrelevant to the health and well-being of the communities where they are born, grow, live, work, and age. The uniqueness of being male and of African descent calls for a critical examination and deeper understanding of the psycho-socio-historical context in which African American men have lived. There is a critical need for scholarship that better contextualizes African American Male Theory and cultural humility in terms of public health. Furthermore, the focus of much of the social determinants of health and health equity policy literature has been on advocacy, but few researchers have examined why health-related public policies have not been adopted and implemented from a political and theoretical policy analysis perspective. The purpose of this article will be to examine African American men's health within the context of social determinants of health status, health behavior, and health inequalities-elucidating policy implications for system change and providing recommendations from the vantage point of health equity.
The rise of the active health care consumer in the United Kingdom requires a reformulation not only of the traditional relationship between patients and doctors, but also of the macro-politics of health which reflect and service that relationship. Market and democratic themes have supplied an ideological impetus to the pressures for change. The well-publicised problems of medical self-regulation have given them practical political expression. However, the response from the policy community still reflects the dominant partners within it, medicine and the state. What neither partner has recognised is that the functionality of the policy community has been undermined by the different and issue-based challenges to the traditional patient-doctor relationship. As a result, the state is likely to remain the lead player in an increasingly unstable politics of health where consumerist issues are on the policy agenda, but patient groups are still excluded from the policy community.
Dora, Carlos; Racioppi, Francesca
From the mid-1990s, research began to highlight the importance of a wide range of health impacts of transport policy decisions. The Third Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health adopted a Charter on Transport, Environment and Health based on four main components: bringing awareness of the nature, magnitude and costs of the health impacts of transport into intergovernmental processes; strengthening the arguments for integration of health into transport policies by developing in-depth analysis of the evidence; developing national case studies; and engaging ministries of environment, health and transport as well as intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations. Negotiation of the Charter was based on two converging processes: the political process involved the interaction of stakeholders in transport, health and environment in Europe, which helped to frame the issues and the approaches to respond to them; the scientific process involved an international group of experts who produced state-of- the-art reviews of the health impacts resulting from transportation activities, identifying gaps in existing knowledge and methodological tools, specifying the policy implications of their findings, and suggesting possible targets for health improvements. Health arguments were used to strengthen environmental ones, clarify costs and benefits, and raise issues of health equity. The European experience shows that HIA can fulfil the need for simple procedures to be systematically applied to decisions regarding transport strategies at national, regional and local levels. Gaps were identified concerning models for quantifying health impacts and capacity building on how to use such tools. PMID:12894322
Kothia, Nandita Rani; Bommireddy, Vikram Simha; Devaki, Talluri; Vinnakota, Narayana Rao; Ravoori, Srinivas; Sanikommu, Suresh; Pachava, Srinivas
Background: National oral health policy was conscripted by the Indian Dental Association (IDA) in 1986 and was accepted as an integral part of National Health Policy (NHP) by the Central Council of Health and Family Welfare in one of its conferences in the year 1995. Objectives of this paper were to find out the efforts made or going on towards its execution, its current status and recent oral health-related affairs or programs, if any. Methods: Literature search was done using the institutional library, web-based search engines like ‘Google’ and ‘PubMed’ and also by cross referencing. It yielded 108 articles, of which 50 were excluded as they were not pertinent to the topic. Twenty-four were of global perspective rather than Indian and hence were not taken into account and finally 34 articles were considered for analyses. Documents related to central and state governments of India were also considered. Results: All the articles considered for analysis were published within the past 10 years with gradual increase in number which depicts the researchers’ increasing focus towards oral health policy. Criticisms, suggestions and recommendations regarding national oral health programs, dental manpower issues, geriatric dentistry, public health dentistry, dental insurance, oral health inequality, and public-private partnerships have taken major occupancies in the articles. Proposals like "model for infant and child oral health promotion" and "oral health policy phase 1 for Karnataka" were among the initiatives towards national oral health policy. Conclusion: The need for implementation of the drafted oral health policy with modification that suits the rapidly changing oral health system of this country is inevitable. PMID:26340486
Fossum, Mariann; Hughes, Lee; Manias, Elizabeth; Bennett, Paul; Dunning, Trisha; Hutchinson, Alison; Considine, Julie; Botti, Mari; Duke, Maxine M; Bucknall, Tracey
Objectives The objective of this paper is to review and compare the content of medication management policies across seven Australian health services located in the state of Victoria.Methods The medication management policies for health professionals involved in administering medications were obtained from seven health services under one jurisdiction. Analysis focused on policy content, including the health service requirements and regulations governing practice.Results and Conclusions The policies of the seven health services contained standard information about staff authorisation, controlled medications and poisons, labelling injections and infusions, patient self-administration, documentation and managing medication errors. However, policy related to individual health professional responsibilities, single- and double-checking medications, telephone orders and expected staff competencies varied across the seven health services. Some inconsistencies in health professionals' responsibilities among medication management policies were identified.What is known about the topic? Medication errors are recognised as the single most preventable cause of patient harm in hospitals and occur most frequently during administration. Medication management is a complex process involving several management and treatment decisions. Policies are developed to assist health professionals to safely manage medications and standardise practice; however, co-occurring activities and interruptions increase the risk of medication errors.What does this paper add? In the present policy analysis, we identified some variation in the content of medication management policies across seven Victorian health services. Policies varied in relation to medications that require single- and double-checking, as well as by whom, nurse-initiated medications, administration rights, telephone orders and competencies required to check medications.What are the implications for practitioners? Variation in
Although Kenya's current 5-Year National Development Plan cites communications as a public policy issue in terms of the establishment of basic infrastructural facilities, little attention has been given to this area. At the national level, a more specific approach to communication policy demands the formulation of coherent policies and their implementation through adequate institutional bodies. However, most policymakers are poorly equipped to deal with communication questions since they are interdisciplinary, technically complex, and politically sensitive. Policymaking must be based on a database that allows a minimal level of resource assessment, an inventory of locally available resources, a projection of needs for imported resources, and a scenario for resource development. The institutional location and accountability of communication need to be defined. Moreover, in promoting the strategies of self-reliance and decentralization, communication policy must consider the 4 aspects of a national information system: function, resource inventory, structure content, an control. The 1st task is to carry out a needs assessment exercise that determines what is required from a communications policy. A related task is audience analysis. Also essential is the analysis of policies that guide and constrain system development and the distribution and nature of political and economic power. Finally, feedback mechanisms must be devised for the determination of policy impact. Methods helpful in analyzing policy impact include systems analysis, resource assessment, trend extrapolation, the Delphi technique, and brainstorming.
Global trends influence strategies for health-care delivery in low- and middle-income countries. A drive towards uniformity in the design and delivery of healthcare interventions, rather than solid local adaptations, has come to dominate global health policies. This study is a participatory longitudinal study of how one country in West Africa, The Gambia, has responded to global health policy trends in maternal and reproductive health, based on the authors’ experience working as a public health researcher within The Gambia over two decades. The paper demonstrates that though the health system is built largely upon the principles of a decentralised and governed primary care system, as delineated in the Alma-Ata Declaration, the more recent policies of The Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria and the GAVI Alliance have had a major influence on local policies. Vertically designed health programmes have not been easily integrated with the existing system, and priorities have been shifted according to shifting donor streams. Local absorptive capacity has been undermined and inequalities exacerbated within the system. This paper problematises national actors’ lack of ability to manoeuvre within this policy context. The authors’ observations of the consequences in the field over time evoke many questions that warrant discussion, especially regarding the tension between local state autonomy and the donor-driven trend towards uniformity and top–down priority setting. PMID:25203251
Global trends influence strategies for health-care delivery in low- and middle-income countries. A drive towards uniformity in the design and delivery of healthcare interventions, rather than solid local adaptations, has come to dominate global health policies. This study is a participatory longitudinal study of how one country in West Africa, The Gambia, has responded to global health policy trends in maternal and reproductive health, based on the authors' experience working as a public health researcher within The Gambia over two decades. The paper demonstrates that though the health system is built largely upon the principles of a decentralised and governed primary care system, as delineated in the Alma-Ata Declaration, the more recent policies of The Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria and the GAVI Alliance have had a major influence on local policies. Vertically designed health programmes have not been easily integrated with the existing system, and priorities have been shifted according to shifting donor streams. Local absorptive capacity has been undermined and inequalities exacerbated within the system. This paper problematises national actors' lack of ability to manoeuvre within this policy context. The authors' observations of the consequences in the field over time evoke many questions that warrant discussion, especially regarding the tension between local state autonomy and the donor-driven trend towards uniformity and top-down priority setting.
Gray, Peter J.
This report explores the use of policy analysis as a tool for setting computer use policy in a school district by discussing the steps in the policy formation and implementation processes and outlining how policy analysis methods can contribute to the creation of effective policy. Factors related to the adoption and implementation of innovations…
Hyder, Adnan A; Merritt, Maria; Ali, Joseph; Tran, Nhan T; Subramaniam, Kulanthayan; Akhtar, Tasleem
Scientific progress is a significant basis for change in public-health policy and practice, but the field also invests in value-laden concepts and responds daily to sociopolitical, cultural and evaluative concerns. The concepts that drive much of public-health practice are shaped by the collective and individual mores that define social systems. This paper seeks to describe the ethics processes in play when public-health mechanisms are established in low- and middle-income countries, by focusing on two cases where ethics played a crucial role in producing positive institutional change in public-health policy. First, we introduce an overview of the relationship between ethics and public health; second, we provide a conceptual framework for the ethical analysis of health system events, noting how this approach might enhance the power of existing frameworks; and third, we demonstrate the interplay of these frameworks through the analysis of a programme to enhance road safety in Malaysia and an initiative to establish a national ethics committee in Pakistan. We conclude that, while ethics are gradually being integrated into public-health policy decisions in many developing health systems, ethical analysis is often implicit and undervalued. This paper highlights the need to analyse public-health decision-making from an ethical perspective.
Dias, Henrique Sant'anna; Lima, Luciana Dias de; Teixeira, Márcia
This paper examines the national policy and its antecedents for reorientation of professional health training implemented after 2003. It highlights landmarks and transformations in the course of policies between 1980 and 2010, elements of continuity and change and the connections between past and current policy initiatives. The study involved a review of the literature on the subject and document analysis supported by theoretical analysis of public policies, particularly historical institutionalism. The results point to four different moments during the trajectory of the policy, marked by changes in the initiatives of reorientation of higher education in health: antecedents; initial experiences; university protagonism; broadening and enhancement. As an element of continuity, there is the permanence of objects in the guiding principles advocated in the policies. The evidence of implementation expresses prospects of enhancement, with diversification of mobilized actors and organizations, and more projects implemented. The accumulated experience suggests structural maturity of the structural bases of action and the main changes relate to the enhancement of decision-making bodies of the SUS and the approximation to the process of decentralization and regionalization of national health policy.
Machado, Cristiani Vieira; de Lima, Luciana Dias; Viana, Ana Luiza d'Ávila; de Oliveira, Roberta Gondim; Iozzi, Fabíola Lana; de Albuquerque, Mariana Vercesi; Scatena, João Henrique Gurtler; Mello, Guilherme Arantes; Pereira, Adelyne Maria Mendes; Coelho, Ana Paula Santana
OBJECTIVE To analyze the dynamics of operation of the Bipartite Committees in health care in the Brazilian states. METHODS The research included visits to 24 states, direct observation, document analysis, and performance of semi-structured interviews with state and local leaders. The characterization of each committee was performed between 2007 and 2010, and four dimensions were considered: (i) level of institutionality, classified as advanced, intermediate, or incipient; (ii) agenda of intergovernmental negotiations, classified as diversified/restricted, adapted/not adapted to the reality of each state, and shared/unshared between the state and municipalities; (iii) political processes, considering the character and scope of intergovernmental relations; and (iv) capacity of operation, assessed as high, moderate, or low. RESULTS Ten committees had advanced level of institutionality. The agenda of the negotiations was diversified in all states, and most of them were adapted to the state reality. However, one-third of the committees showed power inequalities between the government levels. Cooperative and interactive intergovernmental relations predominated in 54.0% of the states. The level of institutionality, scope of negotiations, and political processes influenced Bipartite Committees’ ability to formulate policies and coordinate health care at the federal level. Bipartite Committees with a high capacity of operation predominated in the South and Southeast regions, while those with a low capacity of operations predominated in the North and Northeast. CONCLUSIONS The regional differences in operation among Bipartite Interagency Committees suggest the influence of historical-structural variables (socioeconomic development, geographic barriers, characteristics of the health care system) in their capacity of intergovernmental health care management. However, structural problems can be overcome in some states through institutional and political changes. The creation
Murphy, Kelly; Fafard, Patrick
Knowledge translation (KT) is a growing movement in clinical and health services research, aimed to help make research more relevant and to move research into practice and policy. This paper examines the conventional model of policy change presented in KT and assesses its applicability for increasing the impact of urban health research on urban health policy. In general, KT conceptualizes research utilization in terms of the technical implementation of scientific findings, on the part of individual decision-makers who can be "targeted" for a KT intervention, in a context that is absent of political interests. However, complex urban health problems and interventions infrequently resemble this single decision, single decision-maker model posited by KT. In order to clarify the conditions under which urban health research is more likely or not to have an influence on public policy development, we propose to supplement the conventional model with three concepts drawn from the social science: policy stages, policy networks, and a discourse analysis approach for theorizing power in policy-making.
Viana, Ana Luiza d'Avila; Machado, Cristiani Vieira; Baptista, Tatiana Wargas de Faria; Lima, Luciana Dias de; Mendonça, Maria Helena Magalhães de; Heimann, Luiza S; Albuquerque, Mariana Vercesi; Iozzi, Fabíola Lana; David, Virna Carvalho; Ibañez, Pablo; Frederico, Samuel
This article presents the results of a study on Federal health policy in the Brazilian Legal Amazon (BLA) from 2003 to 2005, aimed at backing the development of regional health policies. The region has peculiar dynamics, an extensive border area, and adverse social indicators. The methodology included documental and financial analysis, participatory observation, interviews with heads of various Federal Ministries and State and Municipal health secretaries from the BLA; characterization of geographic situations in the BLA; and field studies in 15 municipalities. Institutional consolidation of health policy proved to be low in the Amazon during the study period, due to structural, institutional, and political difficulties. The identification of six geographic situations was useful for systematizing land use differences with repercussions on health, and which should be considered when implementing public policies. There is a certain gap between Federal actions and territorial dynamics, expressed as a mismatch between the current policy and its recognition by local administrators. In addition to establishing a regional policy for the Amazon, there is an evident need for differentiated policies within the region.
Leatt, P; Covert, M
Many faculty members of programs in health administration participate in the policy-setting process. It is critical at the present time of health care reform that faculty members play an active role in influencing health policy. Educators may become involved in this activity in a number of ways. First, there may be opportunities as researchers to conduct short-term or long-term projects which promote a policy agenda. Faculty members can bring a range of analytical skills and knowledge and may bring in multi-disciplinary perspectives on substantive policy issues. Second, educators need to re-examine curriculum content of university programs in health administration to assure appropriate policy content and to seek out opportunities for graduates in policy analysis positions. Third, through community services, educators may take on advocacy roles for the promotion of particular perspectives or the support of special interest groups. It is clear that there are going to be growing opportunities for faculty members to work with practitioners to substantially influence health policy.
Differences in the health of individuals reflect inherent features of the societies in which they live. The way a society organizes itself and delivers wellbeing to its members are major determinants of health. Social, economic and political factors have an important influence on health and longevity. Social position and lifestyle only partially explain ill health. Psychosocial factors, such as a sense of isolation, deprivation or loss of control, are also important. Governments can reduce health inequalities by ensuring that all policies are assessed for their potential impact on the health of all sectors of society.
DOSHMANGIR, Leila; DOSHMANGIR, Parinaz; ABOLHASSANI, Nazanin; MOSHIRI, Esmaeil; JAFARI, Mehdi
Background: This study aimed to explore the effects of national targeted subsidies policy on health behavior of Iranian households. Methods: In this qualitative study, data were collected between January 2012 and December 2013 through face-to-face interviews (23 experts in national and provincial levels of health system and 18 household heads) and through a comprehensive and purposive document analysis. The data was analyzed using a thematic analysis method (inductive-deductive) and assisted by Atlas-ti software. Results: Rising health care costs, removing some food subsidies and the increase in price of most goods and services due to the implementation of economic policy of targeted subsidies have led to significant changes in the demand for health services, changes in the consumption trends of goods and services affecting health as well as changes in the health habits of households. Conclusion: Targeted subsidies and the cash subsidy policy have some negative effects on population health behavior especially among poor people. Hence, maintaining or increasing the cash subsidy is not an efficient allocation of resources toward health care system. So, it is necessary to identify appropriate strategies and policies and apply interventions in order to moderate negative effects and enhance positive effects resulted from implementing this economic reform on population health behavior. PMID:26056676
Bloomfield, Stefan D.
Large-scale Markov chain models and Monte Carlo simulation, two types of models useful for academic managers to analyze academic staffing policies, are described. Their relative advantages and disadvantages regarding technical requirements and performance, as well as managerial usefulness at different levels of the university, are discussed.…
Soultatou, Pelagia; Duncan, Peter; Athanasiou, Kyriacos; Papadopoulos, Irena
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore the concept of health-related needs on a policy design and curriculum enactment basis in terms of the national school health education curriculum in Greek secondary education. Design/methodology/approach: A single case study, using an ethnographic approach, was conducted in Greece, seeking to…
Kann, Laura; Brener, Nancy D.; Wechsler, Howell
Background: The School Health Policies and Programs Study (SHPPS) 2006 is the largest, most comprehensive assessment of school health programs in the United States ever conducted. Methods: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducts SHPPS every 6 years. In 2006, computer-assisted telephone interviews or self-administered mail…
There have been recent policy moves aimed at encouraging individuals to lead healthier lives. The Cabinet Office has set up a ‘nudge unit’ with health as one of its priorities and behavioural approaches have started to be integrated into health-related domestic policy in a number of areas. Behavioural research has shown that that the way the environment is constructed can shape a person's choices within it. Thus, it is hoped that, by using insights from such research, people can be nudged towards making decisions which are better for their health. This article outlines how nudges can be conceived of as part of an expanding arsenal of health-affecting regulatory tools being used by the Government and addresses some concerns which have been expressed regarding behavioural research-driven regulation and policy. In particular, it makes the case that, regardless of new regulatory and policy strategies, we cannot escape the myriad of influences which surround us. As such, we can view our health-affecting decisions as already being in some sense shaped and constructed. Further, it argues we may in fact have reason to prefer sets of health-affecting options which have been intentionally designed by the state, rather than those that stem from other sources or result from random processes. Even so, in closing, this article draws attention to the largely unanswered questions about how behavioural research translates into policy and regulatory initiatives. PMID:24081425
Background The UK government committed to undertaking impact assessments of its policies on the health of populations in low and middle-income countries in its cross-government strategy “Health is Global”. To facilitate this process, the Department of Health, in collaboration with the National Heart Forum, initiated a project to pilot the use of a global health impact assessment guidance framework and toolkit for policy-makers. This paper aims to stimulate debate about the desirability and feasibility of global health impact assessments by describing and drawing lessons from the first stage of the project. Discussion Despite the attraction of being able to assess and address potential global health impacts of policies, there is a dearth of existing information and experience. A literature review was followed by discussions with policy-makers and an online survey about potential barriers, preferred support mechanisms and potential policies on which to pilot the toolkit. Although policy-makers were willing to engage in hypothetical discussions about the methodology, difficulties in identifying potential pilots suggest a wider problem in encouraging take up without legislative imperatives. This is reinforced by the findings of the survey that barriers to uptake included lack of time, resources and expertise. We identified three lessons for future efforts to mainstream global health impact assessments: 1) Identify a lead government department and champion – to some extent, this role was fulfilled by the Department of Health, however, it lacked a high-level cross-government mechanism to support implementation. 2) Ensure adequate resources and consider embedding the goals and principles of global health impact assessments into existing processes to maximise those resources. 3) Develop an effective delivery mechanism involving both state actors, and non-state actors who can ensure a “voice” for constituencies who are affected by government policies and also
The World Health Organization estimates that almost half a million women in developing countries die in pregnancy and childbirth every year. Unsafe induced abortion is responsible for perhaps one-quarter of these deaths. In this article, the author reviews the legal, medical, and social contexts in which women in developing countries resort to clandestine abortion. Despite intensified international concern with reducing high rates of maternal mortality and morbidity, national policy makers and participants at international conferences on maternal health--with a few important exceptions--have not recommended that safe, legal services for terminating unwanted pregnancies be offered as an essential element of basic reproductive health care. United States international policy on funding abortion-related activities in maternal health and family planning programs is especially restrictive. A new policy approach is clearly needed if unacceptably high rates of maternal morbidity and mortality in many countries are to be reduced.
Ridenour, Nancy; Trautman, Deborah
Health care reform is a high priority on the federal policy agenda. The authors present insights from their experiences as Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellows working in Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office and on the House Committee on Ways and Means. Nursing has many opportunities at this juncture to engage in policy discussions and advance solutions for issues related to increasing quality and access while dampening the escalating cost of care. Strategies where nursing's voice can inform reform conversations include chronic disease management, prevention and health promotion, community-based care, nurse-managed care, interdisciplinary education, safety and quality, use of health information technology, and testing the comparative effectiveness of interventions and delivery systems.
Evans, John; Davies, Brian; Rich, Emma; DePian, Laura
Drawing on research investigating the impact of health imperatives around obesity, diet and exercise on the actions of teachers and pupils in schools, this paper offers a reflexive account of the relationships between the "noise" of obesity discourse in the public domain, policies forged to tackle health issues and the realities of…
Artazcoz, Lucía; Oliva, Juan; Escribà-Agüir, Vicenta; Zurriaga, Oscar
The objective of SESPAS Report 2010 is to enhance the incorporation of the principle of Health in all Policies in public health in Spain. The fundamental principle behind this slogan is very simple: Health is strongly influenced by the environment, how we live, work, eat, walk or enjoy our leisure time. Moreover, these living conditions depend not only on individual decisions but are determined by social, cultural, economic or environmental factor. Consequently, policy decisions that influence the health of people not just those related to services or health policy, but primarily those taken in other public, private, political and civic contexts. SESPAS Report 2010 has four parts. It begins with and introductory chapter on the challenges of incorporating the principle of Health in all Policies in public health. The second part consists of several articles of reflection on the relationship between the health care system and public health. The third part focuses on cross-sectoral public health policies. The report ends with several articles on cross-cutting issues such as public health education, information, research, evaluation and ethics in public health policies.
American Health Decisions, a movement that started in Oregon, has spread to several other states. Through the media and widespread public discussion, the projects aim to increase public awareness about the individual and societal dimensions of ethical choices in health care.
Johnson, Norine G.
Since World War II, American psychology's role in health care has significantly expanded. This was formally recognized in 2001 when the membership of the American Psychological Association (APA) approved a bylaw change in its mission statement to include the word health. An accumulating body of research demonstrates and recent reviews conclude…
Smith, Stephanie L
Nearly 300,000 women die from pregnancy-related complications each year. One-fifth of these deaths occur in India. Maternal survival rose on India's national policy agenda in the mid-2000s, but responsibility for health policy and implementation in the federal system is largely devolved to the state level where priority for the issue and maternal health outcomes vary. This study investigates sources of variation in maternal health policy and implementation sub-nationally in India. The study is guided by four analytical categories drawn from policy process literature: constitutional, governing and social structures; political contexts; actors and ideas. The experiences of two south Indian states-Tamil Nadu a leader and Karnataka a relatively slow mover-are examined. Process-tracing, a case study methodology that helps to identify roles of complex historical events in causal processes, was employed to investigate the research question in each state. The study is informed by interviews with public health policy experts and service delivery professionals, observation of implementation sites and archival document analysis. Historical legacies-Tamil Nadu's non-Brahmin social movement and Karnataka's developmental disparities combined with decentralization-shape the states' political contexts, affecting variation in maternal health policy and implementation. Competition to advance consistent political priorities across regimes in Tamil Nadu offers fertile ground for policy entrepreneurship and strong public health system administration facilitates progress. Inconsistent political priorities and relatively weak public health system administration frustrate progress in Karnataka. These variations offer insights to the ways in which sub-national political and administrative contexts shape health policy and implementation.
Ha, Bui T. T.; Frizen, Scott; Thi, Le M.; Duong, Doan T. T.; Duc, Duong M.
Background In almost 30 years since economic reforms or ‘renovation’ (Doimoi) were launched, Vietnam has achieved remarkably good health results, in many cases matching those in much higher income countries. This study explores the contribution made by Universal Health Insurance (UHI) policies, focusing on the past 15 years. We conducted a mixed method study to describe and assess the policy process relating to health insurance, from agenda setting through implementation and evaluation. Design The qualitative research methods implemented in this study were 30 in-depth interviews, 4 focus group discussions, expert consultancy, and 420 secondary data review. The data were analyzed by NVivo 7.0. Results Health insurance in Vietnam was introduced in 1992 and has been elaborated over a 20-year time frame. These processes relate to moving from a contingent to a gradually expanded target population, expanding the scope of the benefit package, and reducing the financial contribution from the insured. The target groups expanded to include 66.8% of the population by 2012. We characterized the policy process relating to UHI as incremental with a learning-by-doing approach, with an emphasis on increasing coverage rather than ensuring a basic service package and financial protection. There was limited involvement of civil society organizations and users in all policy processes. Intertwined political economy factors influenced the policy processes. Conclusions Incremental policy processes, characterized by a learning-by-doing approach, is appropriate for countries attempting to introduce new health institutions, such as health insurance in Vietnam. Vietnam should continue to mobilize resources in sustainable and viable ways to support the target groups. The country should also adopt a multi-pronged approach to achieving universal access to health services, beyond health insurance. PMID:25262793
Atuoye, Kilian Nasung; Vercillo, Siera; Antabe, Roger; Galaa, Sylvester Zackaria; Luginaah, Isaac
Policy makers in low and middle-income countries are frequently confronted with challenges of increasing health access for poor populations in a sustainable manner. After several years of trying out different health financing mechanisms, health insurance has recently emerged as a pro-poor health financing policy. Capitation, a fixed fee periodically paid to health service providers for anticipated services, is one of the payment policies in health insurance. This article examines claims and counter-claims made by coalitions and individual stakeholders in a capitation payment policy debate within Ghana's National Health Insurance Scheme. Using content analysis of public and parliamentary proceedings, we situate the debate within policy making and health insurance literature. We found that the ongoing capitation payment debate stems from challenges in implementation of earlier health insurance claims payment systems, which reflect broader systemic challenges facing the health insurance scheme in Ghana. The study illustrates the extent to which various sub-systems in the policy debate advance arguments to legitimize their claims about the contested capitation payment system. In addition, we found that the health of poor communities, women and children are being used as surrogates for political and individual arguments in the policy debate. The article recommends a more holistic and participatory approach through persuasion and negotiation to join interests and core evidence together in the capitation policy making in Ghana and elsewhere with similar contexts.
Katsikas, S K
The proliferation of the use of automated Health Information Systems in the everyday practice of health professionals has brought a number of issues related to the security of health information to a critical point. The preservation of security of health-related information can only be achieved through a concerted approach, comprising legal, organisational, technical and educational actions. These classes of actions constitute a complete "security framework", a key aspect of which is the set of rules, laws and regulations that govern the usage of information within a Health Care Establishment. This set is commonly referred to as "Security Policy". In this paper, the SEISMED High Level Security Policy for Health Care Establishments is presented.
Minh, Hoang Van; Giang, Le Minh; Cashin, Cheryl; Hinh, Nguyen Duc
Vietnam's health system continues to make great progress in improving its capacities and performance. However, despite the many significant achievements that have been made, this paper summaries 11 health system research papers from different perspectives with the aim of providing scientific evidence for policy actions in Vietnam. Health system research is ultimately concerned with improving the health of people and communities, by enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of the health system as an integral part of the overall process of socioeconomic development, with full involvement of all actors. We hope the findings from this cluster of papers provide some insights into issues of importance for the continued advancement and strengthening of the health system in Vietnam and can be considered a valid and reliable resource to inform planning, management and policy-making decisions.
Weishaar, Heide; Amos, Amanda; Collin, Jeff
Networks and coalitions of stakeholders play a crucial role in the development and implementation of policies, with previous research highlighting that networks in tobacco control are characterised by an antagonism between supporters and opponents of comprehensive tobacco control policies. This UK-based study used quantitative and qualitative network analysis (drawing on 176 policy submissions and 32 interviews) to systematically map and analyse a network of actors involved in the development of European Union (EU) smoke-free policy. Policy debates were dominated by two coalitions of stakeholders with starkly opposing positions on the issue. One coalition, consisting primarily of health-related organisations, supported comprehensive EU smoke-free policy, whereas the other, led by tobacco manufacturers' organisations, opposed the policy initiative. The data suggest that, aided by strong political commitment of EU decision makers to develop smoke-free policy, advocates supporting comprehensive EU policy were able to frame policy debates in ways which challenged the tobacco industry's legitimacy. They then benefited from the stark polarisation between the two coalitions. The paper provides empirical evidence of the division between two distinct coalitions in tobacco policy debates and draws attention to the complex processes of consensus-seeking, alliance-building and strategic action which are integral to the development of EU policy. Highlighting network polarisation and industry isolation as factors which seemed to increase tobacco control success, the study demonstrates the potential significance and value of FCTC article 5.3 for tobacco control policy-making.
Wimbush, Erica; Young, Ian; Robertson, Graham
Scotland has recently embarked on a new phase of policy and infrastructure development for improving population health and reducing health inequalities that broadly conforms to the Ottawa Charter and WHO's strategic framework for the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases. The new phase is characterised by an integrated, cross-government approach to improving health with strengthened political and Scottish Executive leadership and investment since devolution. A comprehensive policy framework for improving young people's health and reducing inequalities has been developed across education, health, environment and social justice. It builds on an earlier phase of relative stability and continuity in the health promotion infrastructure with policy focused on CVD and cancer prevention and tackling the behavioural risk factors (smoking, alcohol, diet, physical activity) as well as sexual health and mental health and wellbeing. These national strategies are currently being implemented across Scotland. They combine promotion, prevention, treatment and protection goals and target both population-level and high-risk groups. Crosscutting government objectives and headline targets for addressing poverty, disadvantage and health inequalities now supplement the NHS health improvement targets on smoking, alcohol, physical activity, teenage pregnancy and child immunization. Within the health service, prevention efforts are largely concerned with primary care development (anticipatory care) and health system reform to maximize their impact on reducing health inequalities. Efforts to tackle the social determinants of health and reduce inequalities in health outcomes are beginning to be connected and mainstreamed across local government with Community Planning Partnerships as the main vehicle. National level mechanisms for integrated funding, planning and performance reporting to deliver shared priority outcomes have yet to be developed. The development of health
Reilly, Rachel; Rowley, Kevin; Luke, Joanne; Doyle, Joyce; Ritte, Rebecca; O'Shea, Rebekah; Brown, Alex
When analysing the health behaviours of any group of people, understanding the constraints and possibilities for individual agency as shaped by the broader societal context is critical. In recent decades, our understanding of the ways in which physical and social environments influence health and health behaviours has expanded greatly. The authors of a recent analysis of Australian Aboriginal health data using an economic 'rational choice model,' published in this journal, claim to make a useful contribution to policy discussions relating to Aboriginal health, but neglect context. By doing so, they neglect the very factors that determine the success or failure of policy change. Notwithstanding the technical sophistication of the analyses, by ignoring most relevant determinants of health, the conclusions misrepresent the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and therefore risk perpetuating harm, rather than improving health.
Vos, Amber A; van Voorst, Sabine F; Steegers, Eric A P; Denktaş, Semiha
Relatively high perinatal mortality and morbidity rates(2) in the Netherlands resulted in a process which induced policy changes regarding the Dutch perinatal healthcare system. Aims of this policy analysis are (1) to identify actors, context and process factors that promoted or impeded agenda setting and formulation of policy regarding perinatal health care reform and (2) to present an overview of the renewed perinatal health policy. The policy triangle framework for policy analysis by Walt and Gilson was applied(3). Contents of policy, actors, context factors and process factors were identified by triangulation of data from three sources: a document analysis, stakeholder analysis and semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders. Analysis enabled us to chronologically reconstruct the policy process in response to the perinatal mortality rates. The quantification of the perinatal mortality problem, the openness of the debate and the nature of the topic were important process factors. Main theme of policy was that change was required in the entire spectrum of perinatal healthcare. This ranged from care in the preconception phase through to the puerperium. Furthermore emphasis was placed on the importance of preventive measures and socio-environmental determinants of health. This required involvement of the preventive setting, including municipalities. The Dutch tiered perinatal healthcare system and divergent views amongst curative perinatal health care providers were important context factors. This study provides lessons which are applicable to health care professionals and policy makers in perinatal care or other multidisciplinary fields.
Saltman, Richard B.
Health care systems in Sweden, Finland, and Denmark are in the midst of substantial organizational reconfiguration. Although retaining their tax-based single source financing arrangements, they have begun experiments that introduce a limited measure of competitive behavior in the delivery of health services. The emphasis has been on restructuring public operated hospitals and health centers into various forms of public firms, rather than on the privatization of ownership of institutions. If successful, the reforms will enable these Nordic countries to combine their existing macroeconomic controls with enhanced microeconomic efficiency, effectiveness, and responsiveness to patients. PMID:10122003
Stuart-Cassel, Victoria; Bell, Ariana; Springer, J. Fred
Bullying in schools has become widely viewed as an urgent social, health, and education concern that has moved to the forefront of public debate on school legislation and policy. The Columbine High School shooting in 1999 was the first of many high-profile incidents of violent behavior that appeared to implicate bullying as an underlying cause…
Ackermann, Ronald T; Kenrik Duru, O; Albu, Jeanine B; Schmittdiel, Julie A; Soumerai, Stephen B; Wharam, James F; Ali, Mohammed K; Mangione, Carol M; Gregg, Edward W
The high prevalence and costs of type 2 diabetes makes it a rapidly evolving focus of policy action. Health systems, employers, community organizations, and public agencies have increasingly looked to translate the benefits of promising research interventions into innovative policies intended to prevent or control diabetes. Though guided by research, these health policies provide no guarantee of effectiveness and may have opportunity costs or unintended consequences. Natural experiments use pragmatic and available data sources to compare specific policies to other policy alternatives or predictions of what would likely have happened in the absence of any intervention. The Natural Experiments for Translation in Diabetes (NEXT-D) Study is a network of academic, community, industry, and policy partners, collaborating to advance the methods and practice of natural experimental research, with a shared aim of identifying and prioritizing the best policies to prevent and control diabetes. This manuscript describes the NEXT-D Study group's multi-sector natural experiments in areas of diabetes prevention or control as case examples to illustrate the selection, design, analysis, and challenges inherent to natural experimental study approaches to inform development or evaluation of health policies.
Many critical public health issues require non-traditional approaches. Although many novel strategies are used, one approach not widely applied involves improving the treatment of animals. Emerging infectious diseases are pressing public health challenges that could benefit from improving the treatment of animals. Other human health issues, that overlap with animal treatment issues, and that warrant further exploration, are medical research and domestic violence. The diverse nature of these health issues and their connection with animal treatment suggest that there may be other similar intersections. Public health would benefit by including the treatment of animals as a topic of study and policy development.
With the advent of second-wave feminism during the 1970s, a significant body of literature emerged describing sexist practices in women's health care. Gender-bias and gender disparities found in women's health care became concerns that garnered considerable attention in the United States because of the increased health risks posed for women. This article describes key historical challenges and accomplishments made in U.S. women's health care policy during the quarter century spanning 1970-1995 that influence contemporary health care social work practice and social work education.
Many critical public health issues require non-traditional approaches. Although many novel strategies are used, one approach not widely applied involves improving the treatment of animals. Emerging infectious diseases are pressing public health challenges that could benefit from improving the treatment of animals. Other human health issues, that overlap with animal treatment issues, and that warrant further exploration, are medical research and domestic violence. The diverse nature of these health issues and their connection with animal treatment suggest that there may be other similar intersections. Public health would benefit by including the treatment of animals as a topic of study and policy development. PMID:23803712
Strasser, Roger; Kam, Sophia M; Regalado, Sophie M
Compared to their urban counterparts, rural and remote inhabitants experience lower life expectancy and poorer health status. Nowhere is the worldwide shortage of health professionals more pronounced than in rural areas of developing countries. Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) includes a disproportionately large number of developing countries; therefore, this article explores SSA in depth as an example. Using the conceptual framework of access to primary health care, sustainable rural health service models, rural health workforce supply, and policy implications, this article presents a review of the academic and gray literature as the basis for recommendations designed to achieve greater health equity. An alternative international standard for health professional education is recommended. Decision makers should draw upon the expertise of communities to identify community-specific health priorities and should build capacity to enable the recruitment and training of local students from underserviced areas to deliver quality health care in rural community settings.
This study examines the location of British health visiting in contemporary policy discourses concerned with public health and safeguarding children. It argues that professional identity and orientation can be understood through health visiting's long history of public health work with children and families, which has included an engagement with…
Sostrom, Kristen; Collmann, Jeff R.
Health information management policies usually address the use of paper records with little or no mention of electronic health records. Information Technology (IT) policies often ignore the health care business needs and operational use of the information stored in its systems. Representatives from the Telemedicine & Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC), TRICARE and Offices of the Surgeon General of each Military Service, collectively referred to as the Policies, Procedures and Practices Work Group (P3WG) examined military policies and regulations relating to computer-based information systems and medical records management. Using an interdisciplinary and interservice QA approach they compared existing military policies with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Security Rule to identify gaps and discrepancies. The final report, including a plain English explanation of the individual standards and relevance to the Department of Defense (DoD), a comparative analysis and recommendations, will feed in to the security management process and HIPAA implementation efforts at multiple levels within the DoD. In light of High Reliability Theory, this process models how large enterprises may coordinate policy revision and reform across broad organizational and work domains, building consensus on key policy reforms among military stakeholders across different disciplines, levels of command hierarchy and services.
Reich, M R
This paper examines the political dynamics of health sector reform in poor countries, through a comparative study of pharmaceutical policy reform in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and the Philippines. The paper first reviews five reasons why policy reform is political. It then presents three political economic models of the policy reform process: the political will, political factions, and political survival models. Next, the paper describes the three cases of national pharmaceutical policy reform, and identifies common conditions that made these reforms politically feasible. The paper's analysis suggests that health sector reform is feasible at certain definable, and perhaps predictable, political moments, especially in the early periods of new regimes. The most important and manipulable political factors are: political timing, which provides opportunities for policy entrepreneurs to introduce their ideas into public debate, and political management of group competition, which allows leaders to control the political effects of distributional consequences and protect the regime's stability. A strong and narrow political coalition improves the capacity of political leaders to resist the pressures of concentrated economic costs (both inside and outside national boundaries). The paper argues that for reform to succeed, policy-makers need effective methods to analyze relevant political conditions and shape key political factors in favor of policy reform. The method of Political Mapping is briefly introduced as a technique that can help policy-makers in analyzing and managing the political dimensions of policy reform and in improving the political feasibility of reform.
Pérez, Leda M; Martinez, Jacqueline
Community health workers are resources to their communities and to the advocacy and policy world on several levels. Community health workers can connect people to health care and collect information relevant to policy. They are natural researchers who, as a result of direct interaction with the populations they serve, can recount the realities of exclusion and propose remedies for it. As natural researchers, they contribute to best practices while informing public policy with the information they can share. In this light, community health workers may also be advocates for social justice.
Xiu-xia, Li; Ya, Zheng; Yao-long, Chen; Ke-hu, Yang; Zong-jiu, Zhang
The systematic review has increasingly become a popular tool for researching health policy. However, due to the complexity and diversity in the health policy research, it has also encountered more challenges. We set out the Cochrane reviews on health policy research as a representative to provide the first examination of epidemiological and descriptive characteristics as well as the compliance of methodological quality with the AMSTAR. 99 reviews were included by inclusion criteria, 73% of which were Implementation Strategies, 15% were Financial Arrangements and 12% were Governance Arrangements; involved Public Health (34%), Theoretical Exploration (18%), Hospital Management (17%), Medical Insurance (12%), Pharmaceutical Policy (9%), Community Health (7%) and Rural Health (2%). Only 39% conducted meta-analysis, and 49% reported being updates, and none was rated low methodological quality. Our research reveals that the quantity and quality of the evidence should be improved, especially Financial Arrangements and Governance Arrangements involved Rural Health, Health Care Reform and Health Equity, etc. And the reliability of AMSTAR needs to be tested in larger range in this field.
Drozdowicz, Michał; Ganzha, Maria; Paprzycki, Marcin
Internet of Things (IoT) requires novel solutions to facilitate autonomous, though controlled, resource access. Access policies have to facilitate interactions between heterogeneous entities (devices and humans). Here, we focus our attention on access control in eHealth. We propose an approach based on enriching policies, based on well-known and widely-used eXtensible Access Control Markup Language, with semantics. In the paper we describe an implementation of a Policy Information Point integrated with the HL7 Security and Privacy Ontology.
O'Hanlan, Katherine A
Homosexuality and transsexuality are still widely viewed by lay individuals as morally negative and deserving of legal proscription. Peer-reviewed data confirm that experiences of legal discrimination are associated with stress-related health problems, reduced utilization of health care, and financial and legal challenges for individuals and families, especially those with children. In the last 3 years, the American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, and American Psychoanalytic Association have each reviewed the research on sexual orientation and identity, and each has confirmed that sexual orientation and gender identity do not correlate with mental illness or immorality. They have each endorsed laws that confer equality to sexual minorities, including nondiscrimination in employment, medical insurance coverage, adoption, and access to civil marriage. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), by virtue of its history of advocacy for women's health, is in a position to promote policy and make similar recommendations, recognizing that sexual minority women's health and their family issues are an integral component of taking care of all women. The College should review the policies of America's premier mental health associations and consider including sexual orientation and gender identity in its own nondiscrimination policy, and ACOG should issue a policy statement in support of laws to provide safety from violence and discrimination, equal employment opportunities, equal health insurance coverage, and equal access to civil marriage.
Sabatino, Charles P
Context: The legal tools of health care advance planning have substantially changed since their emergence in the mid-1970s. Thirty years of policy development, primarily at the state legislative level addressing surrogate decision making and advance directives, have resulted in a disjointed policy landscape, yet with important points of convergence evolving over time. An understanding of the evolution of advance care planning policy has important implications for policy at both the state and federal levels. Methods: This article is a longitudinal statutory and literature review of health care advance planning from its origins to the present. Findings: While considerable variability across the states still remains, changes in law and policy over time suggest a gradual paradigm shift from what is described as a “legal transactional approach” to a “communications approach,” the most recent extension of which is the emergence of Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment, or POLST. The communications approach helps translate patients’ goals into visible and portable medical orders. Conclusions: States are likely to continue gradually moving away from a legal transactional mode of advance planning toward a communications model, albeit with challenges to authentic and reliable communication that accurately translates patients’ wishes into the care they receive. In the meantime, the states and their health care institutions will continue to serve as the primary laboratory for advance care planning policy and practice. PMID:20579283
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that chemical-management policy in the United States be revised to protect children and pregnant women and to better protect other populations. The Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) was passed in 1976. It is widely recognized to have been ineffective in protecting children, pregnant women, and the general population from hazardous chemicals in the marketplace. It does not take into account the special vulnerabilities of children in attempting to protect the population from chemical hazards. Its processes are so cumbersome that in its more than 30 years of existence, the TSCA has been used to regulate only 5 chemicals or chemical classes of the tens of thousands of chemicals that are in commerce. Under the TSCA, chemical companies have no responsibility to perform premarket testing or postmarket follow-up of the products that they produce; in fact, the TSCA contains disincentives for the companies to produce such data. Voluntary programs have been inadequate in resolving problems. Therefore, chemical-management policy needs to be rewritten in the United States. Manufacturers must be responsible for developing information about chemicals before marketing. The US Environmental Protection Agency must have the authority to demand additional safety data about a chemical and to limit or stop the marketing of a chemical when there is a high degree of suspicion that the chemical might be harmful to children, pregnant women, or other populations.
Brownell, Kelly D.
Obesity in the United States exacts a heavy health and financial toll, requiring new approaches to address this public health crisis. State attorneys general have been underutilized in efforts to formulate and implement food and obesity policy solutions. Their authority lies at the intersection of law and public policy, creating unique opportunities unavailable to other officials and government entities. Attorneys general have a broad range of authority over matters specifically relevant to obesity and nutrition policy, including parens patriae (parent of the country) authority, protecting consumer interests, enacting and supporting rules and regulations, working together across states, engaging in consumer education, and drafting opinions and amicus briefs. Significant room exists for greater attorney general involvement in formulating and championing solutions to public health problems such as obesity. PMID:21233428
Pomeranz, Jennifer L; Brownell, Kelly D
Obesity in the United States exacts a heavy health and financial toll, requiring new approaches to address this public health crisis. State attorneys general have been underutilized in efforts to formulate and implement food and obesity policy solutions. Their authority lies at the intersection of law and public policy, creating unique opportunities unavailable to other officials and government entities. Attorneys general have a broad range of authority over matters specifically relevant to obesity and nutrition policy, including parens patriae (parent of the country) authority, protecting consumer interests, enacting and supporting rules and regulations, working together across states, engaging in consumer education, and drafting opinions and amicus briefs. Significant room exists for greater attorney general involvement in formulating and championing solutions to public health problems such as obesity.
McMurry, Pat; Nolan, David L
The 2010 Force Health Protection Capstone concept envisions a single level of theater hospitalization and a greater reliance on the strategic movement of casualties from the theater. A significant Force Health Protection implication is 100% of the combat zone patients leaving theater will not have a second stay at an echelon/level IV hospital. In 2000, the Army began moving toward the Force Health Protection concept by using a skip policy for determining 2007 medical force structure requirements. Implementing the skip policy avoids (eliminates) the second echelon/level IV hospital length of stay for a percentage of combat zone patients leaving theater. The Army's decision to implement a skip policy exposed the complexities associated with determining deployable medical force structure requirements and the inherent inter-relatedness of the services medical mission.
Ilioudis, C; Pangalos, G
The Internet provides unprecedented opportunities for interaction and data sharing among health care providers, patients and researchers. However, the advantages provided by the Internet come with a significantly greater element of risk to the confidentiality and integrity of information. This paper defines the basic security requirements that must be addressed in order to use the Internet to safely transmit patient and/or other sensitive Health Care information. It describes a suitable Internet Security Policy for Health Care Establishments and provides the set of technical measures that are needed for its implementation. The proposed security policy and technical approaches have been based on an extensive study of the related recommendations from the security and standard groups both in EU amid USA and our related work and experience. The results have been utilized in the framework of the Intranet Health Clinic project, where the use of the Internet for the transmission of sensitive Health Care information is of vital importance.
House, James S
David Mechanic has been a principal founder of modern sociological and social science approaches to health, especially in relation to health policy. These approaches have since the 1950s and 1960s resurrected ideas that had currency in the mid-nineteenth century but seemed crucified, dead, and buried by the rise of modern biomedicine from the mid-nineteenth century through the mid-twentieth century. Problems and lacunae in purely biomedical approaches to health in the later twentieth century, along with developments of new biopsychosocial approaches to health, have spawned a return toward ideas of Rudolf Virchow and mid-nineteenth-century social medicine that social determinants and disparities are major drivers of population health. Since individual health and population health constitute the major determinants of health care utilization and expenditures, social determinants and disparities in health are arguably the foundation of a new "demand-side" health policy that can resolve America's paradoxical health policy crisis of spending increasingly more than any nation on health care and insurance yet achieving increasingly worsening health outcomes relative to virtually all developed countries and some developing ones as well, something that current "supply-side" health policy, including Obamacare, cannot do, important as it is for expanding access to health insurance and care.
Rubenstein, Leonard S
Despite increasing experience in health reconstruction in societies emerging from conflict, the policy basis for investing in the development of equitable and effective health systems in the wake of war remains unsettled. Consideration of post-conflict health reconstruction is almost entirely absent in donor policies on global health. Practically by default, health programmes are seen increasingly as an element of stabilisation and security interventions in the aftermath of armed conflict. That perspective, however, lacks an evidence base and can skew health programmes towards short-term security and stabilisation goals that have a marginal impact and violate the principles of equity, non-discrimination, and quality, which are central to sound health systems and public acceptance of them. A better approach is to ground policy in legitimacy, viewing health both as a core social institution and one that, if developed according to human rights principles, including equity, non-discrimination, participation and accountability, can advance the effectiveness and the quality of governance in the emerging state.
Ferguson, T S; Tulloch-Reid, M K; Gordon-Strachan, G; Hamilton, P; Wilks, R J
Over the last six decades, comprehensive national health surveys have become important data-gathering mechanisms to inform countries on their health status and provide information for health policy and programme planning. Developing countries have only recently begun such surveys and Jamaica has been at the forefront of this effort. Jamaica's Reproductive Health Surveys and programme response to their findings have resulted in an almost 50% reduction infertility rates over three decades as well as a 40% reduction in unmet contraceptive needs and a 40% reduction in unplanned pregnancies over the last two decades. The Jamaica Health and Lifestyle Surveys have served to reinforce the major burden that non-communicable diseases place on the society and the extent to which these are driven by unhealthy lifestyles. These surveys have shown that obesity, hypertension, diabetes and dyslipidaemia affect approximately 50%, 25%, 10% and 10% of the adult population, respectively. These surveys have documented low rates of treatment and control for these chronic non-communicable diseases despite two major policy initiatives, the National Programme for the Promotion of Healthy Lifestyles and the creation of the National Health Fund which subsidizes healthcare provision for chronic diseases. In order to maximize the uptake of the findings of future surveys into effective health policy, there will need to be effective collaborations between academia, policy-makers, regional and international health agencies, non-government organizations and civil society. Such collaborations should take into account the social, political and economic issues, thus ensuring a more comprehensive approach to health policy and result in improvement of the nation's health status and by extension national development.
Fox, Daniel M
Systematic reviews have, increasingly, informed policy for almost 3 decades. In many countries, systematic reviews have informed policy for public and population health, paying for health care, increasing the quality and efficiency of interventions, and improving the effectiveness of health sector professionals and the organizations in which they work. Systematic reviews also inform other policy areas: criminal justice, education, social welfare, and the regulation of toxins in the environment. Although the production and use of systematic reviews has steadily increased, many clinicians, public health officials, representatives of commercial organizations, and, consequently, policymakers who are responsive to them, have been reluctant to use these reviews to inform policy; others have actively opposed using them. Systematic reviews could inform policy more effectively with changes to current practices and the assumptions that sustain these practices-assumptions made by researchers and the organizations that employ them, by public and private funders of systematic reviews, and by organizations that finance, set priorities and standards for, and publish them.
Masuda, Jeffrey R; Poland, Blake; Baxter, Jamie
Spatial disparities in environmental quality and practices are contributing to rising health inequalities worldwide. To date, the field of health promotion has not contributed as significantly as it might to a systematic analysis of the physical environment as a determinant of health nor to a critique of inequitable environmental governance practices responsible for social injustice-particularly in the Canadian context. In this paper, we explore ways in which health promotion and environmental justice perspectives can be combined into an integrated movement for environmental health justice in health promotion. Drawing on Canadian experiences, we describe the historical contributions and limitations of each perspective in research, policy and particularly professional practice. We then demonstrate how recent environmental justice research in Canada is moving toward a deeper and multi-level analysis of environmental health inequalities, a development that we believe can inform a comprehensive research, policy and advocacy agenda in health promotion toward environmental health justice as a fundamental determinant of health. Lastly, we propose four key considerations for health promotion professionals to consider in advancing this movement.
Unger, Jean-Pierre; De Paepe, Pierre; Buitrón, René; Soors, Werner
Costa Rica is a middle-income country with a strong governmental emphasis on human development. For more than half a century, its health policies have applied the principles of equity and solidarity to strengthen access to care through public services and universal social health insurance. Costa Rica's population measures of health service coverage, health service use, and health status are excellent, and in the Americas, life expectancy in Costa Rica is second only to that in Canada. Many of these outcomes can be linked to the performance of the public health care system. However, the current emphasis of international aid organizations on privatization of health services threatens the accomplishments and universality of the Costa Rican health care system.
Unger, Jean-Pierre; De Paepe, Pierre; Buitrón, René; Soors, Werner
Costa Rica is a middle-income country with a strong governmental emphasis on human development. For more than half a century, its health policies have applied the principles of equity and solidarity to strengthen access to care through public services and universal social health insurance. Costa Rica’s population measures of health service coverage, health service use, and health status are excellent, and in the Americas, life expectancy in Costa Rica is second only to that in Canada. Many of these outcomes can be linked to the performance of the public health care system. However, the current emphasis of international aid organizations on privatization of health services threatens the accomplishments and universality of the Costa Rican health care system. PMID:17901439
Bosi, Maria Lúcia Magalhães; Gastaldo, Denise
The article examines core elements of the national and international discussion on the required integration between research, policy and practice in public health, and provides input for this integration. Some conceptual barriers and other barriers at different spheres that interfere with the desired integration are discussed. Evidence has shown that research, policy and practice in health are not continuous, homogenous areas but rather involve different levels and actors. Their processes develop in different grounds supported by a variety of actions, paradigms and interests that are not conflict-free. Thus, this integration is a major challenge given its complexity and multiplicity of objective and subjective aspects.
Guimarães, José Maria Ximenes; Jorge, Maria Salete Bessa; Maia, Regina Claudia Furtado; de Oliveira, Lucia Conde; Morais, Ana Patrícia Pereira; Lima, Marcos Paulo de Oliveira; Assis, Marluce Maria Araújo; dos Santos, Adriano Maia
The article approaches the comprehension of professionals that act in the mental health area about the movement of construction of social participation in the health system of Fortaleza, Ceará State. The methodology adopted is based upon qualitative approach. The study was developed with semi-structured interviews with 17 mental health professionals of the city above mentioned. The empirical data was analyzed through the technique of thematic content analysis, where it was identified three cores of analysis: social participation as space of citizenship and policy formulation; oriented to attention of collective needs; and decision taking. The study reveals that social participation represents a possibility of amplifying X the relations between the Civil Society and the State, which makes possible the social intervention in proposals of the health policies. It is highlighted the right to health linked to the consolidation of democracy in the attention to the needs and collective edification.
Davis, Jeffrey R.; House, Nancy G.
In January 2005, the President proposed a new initiative, the Vision for Space Exploration. To accomplish the goals within the vision for space exploration, physicians and researchers at Johnson Space Center are establishing spaceflight health standards. These standards include fitness for duty criteria (FFD), permissible exposure limits (PELs), and permissible outcome limits (POLs). POLs delineate an acceptable maximum decrement or change in a physiological or behavioral parameter, as the result of exposure to the space environment. For example cardiovascular fitness for duty standards might be a measurable clinical parameter minimum that allows successful performance of all required duties. An example of a permissible exposure limit for radiation might be the quantifiable limit of exposure over a given length of time (e.g. life time radiation exposure). An example of a permissible outcome limit might be the length of microgravity exposure that would minimize bone loss. The purpose of spaceflight health standards is to promote operational and vehicle design requirements, aid in medical decision making during space missions, and guide the development of countermeasures. Standards will be based on scientific and clinical evidence including research findings, lessons learned from previous space missions, studies conducted in space analog environments, current standards of medical practices, risk management data, and expert recommendations. To focus the research community on the needs for exploration missions, NASA has developed the Bioastronautics Roadmap. The Bioastronautics Roadmap, NASA's approach to identification of risks to human space flight, revised baseline was released in February 2005. This document was reviewed by the Institute of Medicine in November 2004 and the final report was received in October 2005. The roadmap defines the most important research and operational needs that will be used to set policy, standards (define acceptable risk), and
The population's high growth rate, age profile, and geographical distribution have aroused increasing public concern in Paraguay. The country is involved in a moderate demographic transition, compatible with the consequences of modernity and the uneven rate of both social and economic changes. Reduction of mortality and the persistence of high birth rate patterns result in an age structure that consolidates demographic growth, with an increased focus on the dependent population. In the late 1960s the need for a systematic approach to population problems was perceived within the framework of economic planning. National governments had, and currently have, an ambivalent perception of this issue, since population growth is simply considered a positive factor. This concept results from an economic view of the consequences of a reduced domestic market in absolute terms. The lack of a Development Plan, the management deficit, and the shortage of training leave doubts as to the establishment of organically connected policies or programs concerning population.
Public health policy has arguably taken a new direction in the UK since 1997. This is typified by a review of the public health workforce. A key profession within this workforce is that of health visiting. Starting Well, a Scottish National Health Demonstration Project is one attempt to develop the public health role of health visitors. The project aimed to improve child health by providing intensive home visiting to families in Glasgow. This paper reports on a process study focused on whether Starting Well, an intervention exemplifying contemporary public health policy, could be operationalised through health visiting practice. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of 44 staff responsible for developing and implementing the programme. Whilst greater contact with families allowed health visitors to develop their understanding of the life circumstances of their case-load families, the evaluation raised issues about the feasibility of systematically changing practice and demonstrated the difficulties of implementing an approach that relied as much on individual values and organisational context as formal guidelines and standardised tools. Furthermore, the ability of the systems and structures within which practitioners were operating to facilitate a broad public health approach was limited. The policy context for public health demands that increasing numbers of health workers are familiar with its principles and modus operandi. It remains, however, a contested area of work and its implementation requires change at a number of levels. This has implications for current policy assumptions about improving population health.
Muntaner, Carles; Chung, Haejoo; Murphy, Kelly; Ng, Edwin
In this paper, we consider social forces that affect the processes of both knowledge production and knowledge translation in relation to urban health research. First, we briefly review our conceptual model, derived from a social-conflict framework, to outline how unequal power relations and health inequalities are causally linked. Second, we critically discuss ideological, political, and economic barriers that exist within academia that affect knowledge production related to urban health and health inequalities. Third, we broaden the scope of our analysis to examine how the ideological, political, and economic environment beyond the academy creates barriers to health equity policy making. We conclude with some key questions about the role that knowledge translation can possibly play in light of these constraints on research and policy for urban health.
Students represent a population group that is for the most part in good health. However, students also face specific stresses and constraints that are likely to make it difficult for them to adapt to student life, and these adjustments can lead to unhealthy behaviours. Within Universities, the implementation of a coherent health policy must aim to positively impact on the development of both the professional and daily lives of young adults. The University of Paul Verlaine in Metz (France) has taken this perspective on board, and under the leadership of its social health department, the whole University has adopted a comprehensive policy for student well-being under the five action areas of the Ottawa Charter. This approach to well-being as a public policy strategy, through the Healthy Life policy, is central to all decisions taken at the Metz University and throughout the Regional Centre for Scholars and University Students (CROUS) in Lorraine. A number of facilities dedicated to students' health and well-being have been created in this supporting environment, and the engagement of students in the Healthy Life policy (some students 'relay' the information, others are 'peer educators') show that they are involved in the community life of the University. The introduction of teaching modules by the University's health department has given access to training to increase students' awareness of the concept of a holistic approach to health. Finally students have had improved access to healthcare services thanks to an increase in the number of activities provided by the student health department focusing on common problems experienced by university students.
Maia, Christiane; Guilhem, Dirce
Objective To outline and discuss the main challenges for sanitary regulation contained in the federal-level Brazilian health policy. Methods For the present qualitative study, based on the analysis of public policies, information was collected from documents and interviews. Document analysis provided a historical overview of the insertion of sanitary regulation into the Brazilian health policy between 1999 and 2009 (first decade of existence of the national health surveillance agency, Anvisa). In addition, 13 interviews were carried out with actors selected for their historical, technical, or academic role in the field. Content analysis was used to define themes emerging from the materials analyzed with a focus on the "content" category, which refers to strategic and operational guidelines of policy programs, projects, initiatives, and normative framework. Results Content analysis revealed five themes that reflect the challenges to sanitary regulation in Brazil: 1) objects under regulation treated as isolated cases; 2) a Brazilian-specific model of sanitary regulation that is different from other international models; 3) ignorance regarding the role of sanitary surveillance in health care; 4) absence of an information system; and 5) absence of performance indicators and assessment tools. Conclusions Sanitary surveillance must have a mission that is disentangled from inspection tasks to become an effective instrument of health protection. For that, an information system that brings the National Sanitary Surveillance System together toward major objectives is essential. The adoption of tools for assessment of action is also required, with the establishment of adequate indicators.
Utomo, Iwu Dwisetyani; McDonald, Peter
This study examines the changing social and political context of adolescent sexual and reproductive health policy in Indonesia. We describe how, in 2001, Indonesia was on the brink of implementing an adolescent reproductive health policy that was consistent with international agreements to which the Indonesian government was a party. Although the health of young Indonesians was known to be at risk, the opportunity for reform passed quickly with the emergence of a new competing force, Middle Eastern fundamentalist Islam. Faced with the risk of regional separatism and competing politico-religious influences, the Indonesian government retreated to the safety of inaction in this area of policy. In the absence of a supportive and committed political environment that reinforces policy specifically targeted to young people's reproductive health, extremist approaches that involve considerable health risk prevailed. The sexual and reproductive values and behaviors that are emerging among single young people in contemporary Indonesia are conditioned by a political context that allows the conflicting forces of traditional Indonesian values, Westernization, and the strong emerging force of fundamentalist Islam to compete for the allegiance of young people.
Calderón, José L; Beltrán, Robert A
The state of health communication for a given population is a function of several tiers of structure and process: government policy, healthcare directives, healthcare structure and process, and the ethnosocial realities of a multicultural society. Common yet specific to these tiers of health communication is the interpersonal and intergroup use of language in all its forms. Language is the most common behavior exhibited by humankind. Its use at all tiers determines quality of healthcare and quality of life for healthcare consumers: patients and their families. Of note, at the consumer end, mounting evidence demonstrates that barriers to health communication contribute to poorer access to care, quality of care, and health outcomes. The lack of comprehensible and usable written and spoken language is a major barrier to health communication targeting primary and secondary disease prevention and is a major contributor to the misuse of healthcare, patient noncompliance, rising healthcare costs. In this paper, we cursorily examine the relationship among government policy, institutional directives, and healthcare structure and process and its influence on the public health, especially vulnerable populations. We conclude that limited health communication in the context of changing healthcare environments and diverse populations is an important underpinning of rising healthcare costs and sustained health disparities. More research is needed to improve communication about health at all tiers and to develop health communication interventions that are usable by all population groups. PMID:15208522
Many children in the United States fail to reach their full health and developmental potential. Disparities in their health and well-being result from the complex interplay of multiple social and environmental determinants that are not adequately addressed by current standards of pediatric practice or public policy. Integrating the principles and practice of child health equity-children's rights, social justice, human capital investment, and health equity ethics-into pediatrics will address the root causes of child health disparities. Promoting the principles and practice of equity-based clinical care, child advocacy, and child- and family-centered public policy will help to ensure that social and environmental determinants contribute positively to the health and well-being of children. The American Academy of Pediatrics and pediatricians can move the national focus from documenting child health disparities to advancing the principles and practice of child health equity and, in so doing, influence the worldwide practice of pediatrics and child health. All pediatricians, including primary care practitioners and medical and surgical subspecialists, can incorporate these principles into their practice of pediatrics and child health. Integration of these principles into competency-based training and board certification will secure their assimilation into all levels of pediatric practice.
Runnels, Vivien; Labonté, Ronald; Ruckert, Arne
Health opportunities and risks have become increasingly global in both cause and consequence. Governments have been slow to recognise the global dimensions of health, although this is beginning to change. A new concept - global health diplomacy (GHD) - has evolved to describe how health is now being positioned within national foreign policies and entering into regional or multilateral negotiations. Traditionally, health negotiations have been seen as 'low politics' in international affairs: however, attention is now being given to understanding better how health can increase its prominence in foreign policy priorities and multilateral forums. We sought to identify how these efforts were manifested in Canada, with a focus on current barriers to inserting health in foreign policy. We conducted individual interviews with Canadian informants who were well placed through their diplomatic experience and knowledge to address this issue. Barriers identified by the respondents included a lack of content expertise (scientific and technical understanding of health and its practice), insufficient diplomatic expertise (the practice and art of diplomacy, including legal and technical expertise), the limited ways in which health has become framed as a foreign policy issue, funding limitations and cuts for global health, and lack of cross-sectoral policy coordination and coherence, given the important role that non-health foreign policy interests (notably in trade and investment liberalisation) can play in shaping global health outcomes. We conclude with some reflections on how regime change and domestic government ideology can also function as a barrier to GHD, and what this implies for retaining or expanding the placement of health in foreign policy.
Hunter, David J
Health systems have entered a third era embracing whole systems thinking and posing complex policy and management challenges. Understanding how such systems work and agreeing what needs to be put in place to enable them to undergo effective and sustainable change are more pressing issues than ever for policy-makers. The theory-policy-practice-gap and its four dimensions, as articulated by Chinitz and Rodwin, is acknowledged. It is suggested that insights derived from political science can both enrich our understanding of the gap and suggest what changes are needed to tackle the complex challenges facing health systems.
Garcia, Christopher; Goodrich, Michael
Many regions in America are experiencing downward trends in the number of practicing physicians and the number of available physician hours, resulting in a worrisome decrease in the availability of health care services. Recent changes in American health care legislation may induce a rapid change in the demand for health care services, which in turn will result in a new supply-demand equilibrium . In this paper we develop a system dynamics model linking physician availability to health care demand and profitability. We use this model to explore scenarios based on different initial conditions and describe possible outcomes for a range of different policy decisions.
Socioeconomic status fundamentally affects most health and disease outcomes, but black Americans are doubly disadvantaged by low status, discrimination, and residential segregation. Improving health and removing disparities are essential goals, but some efforts that improve the health of blacks in important ways also increase black-white disparity ratios. People with more information, influence, resources, and social networks may be better able to take advantage of new technologies and scientific developments, initially increasing disparities. Better health and reduced mortality should be the key policy criteria, but these criteria should be linked with consideration of careful targeting to level the playing field and close disparities.
Butler, James R G
From the introduction of Australia's national health insurance scheme (Medicare) in 1984 until recently, the proportion of the population covered by private health insurance declined steadily. Following an Industry Commission inquiry into the private health insurance industry in 1997, a number of policy changes were effected in an attempt to reverse this trend. The main policy changes were of two types: "carrots and sticks" financial incentives that provided subsidies for purchasing, or tax penalties for not purchasing, private health insurance; and lifetime community rating, which aimed to revise the community rating regulations governing private health insurance in Australia. This paper argues that the membership uptake that has occurred recently is largely attributable to the introduction of lifetime community rating which goes some way towards addressing the adverse selection associated with the previous community rating regulations. This policy change had virtually no cost to government. However, it was introduced after subsidies for private health insurance were already in place. The chronological sequencing of these policies has resulted in substantial increases in government expenditure on private health insurance subsidies, with such increases not being a cause but rather an effect of increased demand for private health insurance. The paper also considers whether the decline in membership that has occurred since the implementation of lifetime community rating presages the re-emergence of an adverse selection problem in private health insurance. Much of the decline to date may be attributable to failure on the part of some members to honour premium payments when they first fell due. However, the changing age composition of the insured pool since September 2000, resulting in an increasing average age of those insured, suggests the possible reappearance of an adverse selection dynamic. Thus the 'trick' delivered by lifetime community ratings may not be
Thompson, T. M.; Selin, N. E.
Both the changing climate, and the policy implemented to address climate change can impact regional air quality. We evaluate the impacts of potential selected climate policies on modeled regional air quality with respect to national pollution standards, human health and the sensitivity of health uncertainty ranges. To assess changes in air quality due to climate policy, we couple output from a regional computable general equilibrium economic model (the US Regional Energy Policy [USREP] model), with a regional air quality model (the Comprehensive Air Quality Model with Extensions [CAMx]). USREP uses economic variables to determine how potential future U.S. climate policy would change emissions of regional pollutants (CO, VOC, NOx, SO2, NH3, black carbon, and organic carbon) from ten emissions-heavy sectors of the economy (electricity, coal, gas, crude oil, refined oil, energy intensive industry, other industry, service, agriculture, and transportation [light duty and heavy duty]). Changes in emissions are then modeled using CAMx to determine the impact on air quality in several cities in the Northeast US. We first calculate the impact of climate policy by using regulatory procedures used to show attainment with National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone and particulate matter. Building on previous work, we compare those results with the calculated results and uncertainties associated with human health impacts due to climate policy. This work addresses a potential disconnect between NAAQS regulatory procedures and the cost/benefit analysis required for and by the Clean Air Act.
Saltman, Richard B
This perspective reviews key institutional and organizational patterns in Swedish health care over the last 30 years, probing the roots of several complicated policy questions that concern present-day Swedish decision-makers. It explores in particular the ongoing structural tension between stability, on the one hand, and the necessary levels of innovation and dynamism demanded by the current period of major clinical, technological, economic, social and supranational (EU) change. Where useful, the article compares Swedish developments with those in the other three European Nordic countries as well as other northern European health systems. Sweden's health sector evolution can provide valuable insight for other countries into the complexity involved in re-thinking tradeoffs between policies that emphasize stability as against those that encourage innovation in health sector governance and provision.
Mateu i Serra, Antoni
In February 2014, the autonomous government in Catalonia, the Generalitat de Catalunya, approved the Catalan Public Health System Interdepartmental Plan (PINSAP, as per the Catalan acronym), responsible for the strategy in Catalonia for Health in All Policies, as recommended by the WHO and other international institutions. The PINSAP, as outlined under the Catalan Public Health Law, is binding for the government. The Plan was drawn up by the Interdepartmental Health Commission (CIS, as per the Catalan acronym) and is a collaboration between all Departments of the Generalitat. The Plan also receives contributions from 42 local, social and scientific bodies. Apart from the specific initiatives performed by each department which have a greater impact on health, the Plan proposes 30 initiatives, which are defined by their collaboration between public sectors, targeting determining health factors and paying special attention to combating inequalities and measuring the impact on health. The PINSAP encourages interdepartmental initiatives and collaboration between public sectors regarding determinants of health. Although it is only in its first year of implementation, many of their initiatives are already up and running and involving many healthcare professionals in Catalonia.
This paper argues against incorporating assessments of individual responsibility into healthcare policies by expanding an existing argument and offering a rebuttal to an argument in favour of such policies. First, it is argued that what primarily underlies discussions surrounding personal responsibility and healthcare is not causal responsibility, moral responsibility or culpability, as one might expect, but biases towards particular highly stigmatised behaviours. A challenge is posed for proponents of taking personal responsibility into account within health policy to either expand the debate to also include socially accepted behaviours or to provide an alternative explanation of the narrowly focused discussion. Second, a critical response is offered to arguments that claim that policies based on personal responsibility would lead to several positive outcomes including healthy behaviour change, better health outcomes and decreases in healthcare spending. It is argued that using individual responsibility as a basis for resource allocation in healthcare is unlikely to motivate positive behaviour changes, and is likely to increase inequality which may lead to worse health outcomes overall. Finally, the case of West Virginia's Medicaid reform is examined, which raises a worry that policies focused on personal responsibility have the potential to lead to increases in medical spending overall.
Background The Russian Federation (Russia) has one of the highest smoking rates in the world. The purpose of this study is to analyze past and current trends of the tobacco epidemic in the Russian Federation, review current tobacco control policy responses, and identify areas of opportunity for policy priorities. Methods We used a policy triangle as analytical framework to examine content, context, and processes of Russian tobacco control policy. The analysis was based on secondary data on supply and demand sides of the Russian tobacco epidemic, tobacco-related economic and health effects during Russia’s economic transition, and compliance of Russian tobacco policy with international standards and regulations. Results Tobacco-promoting strategies have specifically targeted women and youth. Russia’s approval of a “National Tobacco Control Concept” and draft for a comprehensive tobacco control bill increasingly align national legislature with the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). However, several structural and cultural factors represent substantial barriers to the policy process. The influence of transnational tobacco companies on policy processes in Russia has so far impeded a full implementation of the FCTC mandates. Conclusions Several strategies have been identified as having the potential to reduce the prevalence of tobacco use in Russia and decrease tobacco-related national health and economic burden: adjusting national tobacco policy by raising tobacco tax from the current lowest level in Europe to at least 70%; consequent enforcement of a complete smoking ban in public places; marketing restrictions; and smoking cessation interventions integrated into primary care. Russia’s tobacco control efforts need to target women and youths specifically to efficiently counter industry efforts. PMID:23339756
Young, I; Gropp, K; Pintar, K; Waddell, L; Marshall, B; Thomas, K; McEwen, S A; Rajić, A
Policy-makers working at the interface of agri-food and public health often deal with complex and cross-cutting issues that have broad health impacts and socio-economic implications. They have a responsibility to ensure that policy-making based on these issues is accountable and informed by the best available scientific evidence. We conducted a qualitative descriptive study of agri-food public health policy-makers and research and policy analysts in Ontario, Canada, to understand their perspectives on how the policy-making process is currently informed by scientific evidence and how to facilitate this process. Five focus groups of 3-7 participants and five-one-to-one interviews were held in 2012 with participants from federal and provincial government departments and industry organizations in the agri-food public health sector. We conducted a thematic analysis of the focus group and interview transcripts to identify overarching themes. Participants indicated that the following six key principles are necessary to enable and demonstrate evidence-informed policy-making (EIPM) in this sector: (i) establish and clarify the policy objectives and context; (ii) support policy-making with credible scientific evidence from different sources; (iii) integrate scientific evidence with other diverse policy inputs (e.g. economics, local applicability and stakeholder interests); (iv) ensure that scientific evidence is communicated by research and policy stakeholders in relevant and user-friendly formats; (V) create and foster interdisciplinary relationships and networks across research and policy communities; and (VI) enhance organizational capacity and individual skills for EIPM. Ongoing and planned efforts in these areas, a supportive culture, and additional education and training in both research and policy realms are important to facilitate evidence-informed policy-making in this sector. Future research should explore these findings further in other countries and contexts.
Rütten, Alfred; Gelius, Peter
This article outlines a theoretical framework for an interactive, research-driven approach to building policy capacities in health promotion. First, it illustrates how two important issues in the recent public health debate, capacity building and linking scientific knowledge to policy action, are connected to each other theoretically. It then introduces an international study on an interactive approach to capacity building in health promotion policy. The approach combines the ADEPT model of policy capacities with a co-operative planning process to foster the exchange of knowledge between policy-makers and researchers, thus improving intra- and inter-organizational capacities. A regional-level physical activity promotion project involving governmental and public-law institutions, NGOs and university researchers serves as a case study to illustrate the potential of the approach for capacity building. Analysis and comparison with a similar local-level project indicate that the approach provides an effective means of linking scientific knowledge to policy action and to planning concrete measures for capacity building in health promotion, but that it requires sufficiently long timelines and adequate resources to achieve adequate implementation and sustainability.
Roldós, Maria Isabel; Hopenhayn, Claudia; Sacoto, Fernando; Bustamante, Kathy
We describe the steps taken and analysis applied in developing a local health policy agenda for the city of Quito, in Ecuador. In 2014, the Health Commissioner's Office of the Municipality of Quito analyzed the city's epidemiological health profiles, social determinants of health, the legal authority of the Municipality, and relevant literature to understand the city's health burden and develop a Ten-Year Health Plan (2015-2025). Results revealed that Quito's population suffered from noncommunicable chronic diseases (diabetes and hypertension) and identified the primary risk factors (poor nutrition, physical inactivity, and resulting overweight or obesity). Other common conditions included respiratory diseases, mental health conditions, deaths and injuries from motor vehicles, violence, and physical insecurity. The plan emphasized health promotion and disease prevention with the aim of transforming citizens' health perceptions with their active participation by fostering public and private intersectoral commitment to improve the quality of life of the population .
Obesity is associated with chronic diseases that may negatively affect individuals’ health and the sustainability of the health care system. Despite increasing emphasis on obesity as a major health care issue, little progress has been made in its treatment or prevention. Individual approaches to obesity treatment, largely composed of weight-loss dieting, have not proven effective. Little direct evidence supports the notion of reforms to the “obesogenic environment.” Both these individualistic and environmental approaches to obesity have important limitations and ethical implications. The low levels of success associated with these approaches may necessitate a new non–weight-centric public health strategy. Evidence is accumulating that a weight-neutral, nutrition- and physical activity–based, Health at Every Size (HAES) approach may be a promising chronic disease-prevention strategy. PMID:24328657
Riggirozzi, Pia; Yeates, Nicola
Poverty reduction and health became central in the agendas of Southern regional organisations in the last two decades. Yet, little is known about how these organisations address poverty, inclusion and social inequality, and how Southern regional formations are engaging in power constellations, institutions, processes, interests and ideological positions within different spheres of governance. This article reviews academic literatures spanning global social policy, regional studies and diplomacy studies, and the state of knowledge and understanding of the ‘place’ of regional actors in health governance as a global political practice therein. It identifies theoretical and thematic points of connection between disparate literatures and how these can be bridged through research focusing on the social policies of regional organisations and regional integration processes. This framework hence locates the contributions of each of the research articles of this Special Issue of Global Social Policy on the regional dimension of health policy and diplomacy in relation to Southern Africa and South America. It also highlights the ways in which the articles bring new evidence about how social relations of welfare are being (re)made over larger scales and how regional actors may initiate new norms to improve health rights in international arenas engaging in new forms of ‘regional’ diplomacy. PMID:26635495
Suskind, Anne M.; Clemens, J. Quentin
Purpose of Review The U.S. healthcare system is undergoing fundamental changes in an effort to improve access to care, curtail healthcare spending, and improve quality of care. These efforts largely focused on Medicare, and therefore will have a fundamental impact on the care of geriatric patients. This article reviews contemporary health policy issues, with a focus on how these issues may impact the care of geriatric urology patients. Recent Findings The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has broadened the scope of Medicare coverage. Future Medicare reimbursement will be increasingly tied to care coordination, quality reporting, and demonstration of appropriate outcomes. Additional research is needed to better define the comparative effectiveness of urologic therapies in geriatric patients. Workforce projections indicate that there is a shortage of urologists in many areas of the country, and that this shortage will worsen over time unless a new funding model is instituted for graduate medical education. Summary Medicare spending drives many health policy decisions. Therefore, few health policy topics are unique to geriatrics or geriatric urology. However, certain health policy topics (e.g., care coordination, risk-stratification) are particularly germaine to the elderly patients. Urologists with a particular interest in geriatric urology should be familiar with these issues. PMID:26765043
Richardson, J.; Kagawa, F.; Nichols, A.
Background: A number of policy documents suggest that health services should be taking climate change and sustainability seriously and recommendations have been made to mitigate and adapt to the challenges health care providers will face. Actions include, for example, moving towards locally sourced food supplies, reducing waste, energy consumption and travel, and including sustainability in policies and strategies. A Strategic Health Authority (SHA) is part of the National Health Service (NHS) in England. They are responsible for developing strategies for the local health services and ensuring high-quality performance. They manage the NHS locally and are a key link between the U.K. Department of Health and the NHS. They also ensure that national priorities are integrated into local plans. Thus they are in a key position to influence policies and practices to mitigate and adapt to the impact of climate change and promote sustainability. Aim: The aim of this study was to review publicly available documents produced by Strategic Health Authorities (SHA) to assess the extent to which current activity and planning locally takes into consideration climate change and energy vulnerability. Methods: A retrospective thematic content analysis of publicly available materials was undertaken by two researchers over a six month period in 2008. These materials were obtained from the websites of the 10 SHAs in England. Materials included annual reports, plans, policies and strategy documents. Results: Of the 10 SHAs searched, 4 were found to have an absence of content related to climate change and sustainability. Of the remaining 6 SHAs that did include content related to climate change and energy vulnerability on their websites consistent themes were seen to emerge. These included commitment to a regional sustainability framework in collaboration with other agencies in the pursuit and promotion of sustainable development. Results indicate that many SHAs in England have yet to
Stein, Roger M
We report on an ongoing project to develop data-driven tools to help individuals make better choices about health insurance and to better understand the range of costs to which they are exposed under different health plans. We describe a simulation tool that we developed to evaluate the likely usage and costs for an individual and family under a wide range of health service usage outcomes, but that can be tailored to specific physicians and the needs of the user and to reflect the demographics and other special attributes of the family. The simulator can accommodate, for example, specific known physician visits or planned procedures, while also generating statistically reasonable "unexpected" events like ER visits or catastrophic diagnoses. On the other hand, if a user provides only a small amount of information (e.g., just information about the family members), the simulator makes a number of generic assumptions regarding physician usage, etc., based on the age, gender, and other features of the family. Data to parameterize all of these events is informed by a combination of the information provided by the user and a series of specialized databases that we have compiled based on publicly available government data and commercial data as well as our own analysis of this initially very coarse and rigid data. To demonstrate both the subtlety of choosing a healthcare plan and the degree to which the simulator can aid in such evaluations, we present sample results using real insurance plans and two example policy shoppers with different demographics and healthcare needs.
Martinez, Omar; Wu, Elwin; Sandfort, Theo; Dodge, Brian; Carballo-Dieguez, Alex; Pinto, Rogeiro; Rhodes, Scott D.; Moya, Eva; Chavez-Baray, Silvia
Over the past two decades, new anti-immigration policies and laws have emerged to address the migration of undocumented immigrants. A systematic review of the literature was conducted to assess and understand how these immigration policies and laws may affect both access to health services and health outcomes among undocumented immigrants. Eight databases were used to conduct this review, which returned 325 papers that were assessed for validity based on specified inclusion criteria. Forty critically appraised articles were selected for analysis; thirty articles related to access to health services, and ten related to health outcomes. The articles showed a direct relationship between anti-immigration policies and their effects on access to health services. In addition, as a result of these policies, undocumented immigrants were impacted by mental health outcomes, including depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Action items were presented, including the promotion of cultural diversity training and the development of innovative strategies to support safety-net health care facilities serving vulnerable populations. PMID:24375382
Li, Kathy K; Abelson, Julia; Giacomini, Mita; Contandriopoulos, Damien
The concept of public involvement use is not well-defined in the literature. Previous research studies have provided brief accounts of how public involvement may influence health policy, but have not detailed the internal dynamics and process through which it is actually used in the policy process. The study objective is to examine and clarify the concept and process of public involvement use in health policy decision-making. Using qualitative concept analysis methods, we reviewed the literature on the use of public involvement and conducted semi-structured interviews with key informants who have theoretical and/or practical insights on public involvement and its use in policy decision-making. Our findings are organized around interrelated questions that animate how the concept of use is understood, interpreted, and operationalized. In asking, "How is 'use' perceived in relation to health policy decision-making?" meanings are constructed for the concept by identifying differences and drawing connections between "use" and related terms. In asking "How would one know if public involvement was used in health policy decision-making?" our findings weigh in on the act of listening as a precursor to use, the ways in which use is mediated, and responses to the input obtained from public involvement processes as signals of use. These findings are a first step toward improving conceptual clarity about what public involvement use means, how it is understood and interpreted by relevant actors in the public involvement and public policy fields, and how it might be operationalized. We expect our findings to be particularly useful for public involvement practitioners who are often confronted with questions from public involvement participants regarding how their input will be used in health policy decision-making.
Salkeld, G; Davey, P; Arnolda, G
In Australia, as in many other countries, economic evaluation is increasingly seen by health care policy makers as a useful aid to priority setting and resource allocation. In Australia, economic evaluation is now a requirement for new drugs to be listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme which provides a government subsidy on the price of listed drugs for purchasers. Yet, despite recognition of the importance of economic evaluation by policy makers, there is a paucity of published evaluations in Australia. We reviewed all of the 33 health-related economic evaluations conducted in Australia and subsequently published since 1978. This study assesses how well informed decision makers might be if they used the results and conclusions of published economic evaluations as an aid to resource allocation. The review highlights several issues: (i) it is difficult to interpret the conclusions or assess the generalisability of individual papers without information on the context of the original study; (ii) the choice of comparator(s) was often unexplained and most papers did not employ marginal analysis; (iii) in the absence of marginal analysis, the comparability of cost-effectiveness ratios in league tables must be questioned as well as the completeness (were all the relevant alternatives included?) of studies; and (iv) the quality of effectiveness evidence varies enormously, with some authors content to use the best available evidence (even if it is of poor quality). The development of standards for economic evaluation methods might ensure a more consistent and scientific approach to evaluative work, but they cannot guarantee it. A more concerted effort to disseminate the principles and methods of economic evaluation to policy makers and non-economist evaluators might be a more important precursor to improving the credibility and usefulness of economic evaluations in priority setting.
Leow, Anthony Chee Siong; Macdonald, Doune; Hay, Peter; McCuaig, Louise
While grappling with their traditional core business of imbuing students with official curricular knowledge, schools have simultaneously, increasing demands to take on health promotion responsibilities. This paper examines the mandated implementation of the Eat Well Be Active (EWBA) Action Plan and its subsidiary "Smart" policies in…
Gadelha, Carlos Augusto Grabois
This paper puts health questions within the context of national development and industrial policy. It follows the idea of structuralist, Marxist and Schumpeterian approaches, in which industry and innovations form determining factors for the dynamism in capitalist economies and relative positions within the world economy. All countries that have developed and started to compete under better conditions with advanced countries have had an association between strong industry and an endogenous knowledge, learning and innovation base. However, in the field of health, this vision presents problems because business interests move according to the economic logic of profit rather than to meet health needs. The notion of the health-industrial complex is an attempt to provide a theoretical reference that enables linkage between two distinct types of logic: health and economic development. This study has sought to show, on the basis of foreign trade data, how disregard for the logic of health policy development has led to a situation of economic vulnerability in this sector, which may limit the objectives of universality, equality and comprehensiveness. Within this context, a cognitive and political break with these antagonistic visions that put health needs on one side and industrial needs on the other is proposed. A country that aims to reach a condition of development and independence requires strong innovative industries and an inclusive and universal health system, at the same time.
The health of Canada's children does not compare well with other wealthy industrialized nations. Significant inequalities in health exist among Canadian children, and many of these inequalities are due to variations in Canadian children's life circumstances - the social determinants of health. The present article describes the social determinants of children's health and explains how the quality of these social determinants is shaped, in large part, by public policy decisions. The specific public policies that shape the quality of Canadian children's health are examined, and Canadian approaches in comparison with other wealthy developed nations are described. Policy directions that would improve the quality of the social determinants of children's health are presented and barriers to their implementation are considered.
Barraclough, Simon; Phua, Kai-Lit
Malaysia's global, regional and bilateral international health relations are surveyed against the historical backdrop of the country's foreign policy. Malaysia has always participated in multilateral agencies, most notably the World Health Organization, as such agencies are part of the longstanding fabric of "good international citizenship". The threats of infectious diseases to human health and economic activity have caused an intensification and an organizational formalization of Malaysian health diplomacy, both regionally and bilaterally. Such diplomacy has also established a basis for developing a wider set of cooperative relationships that go beyond responding to the threat of pandemics. As Malaysia approaches "developed" status, its health sector is becoming increasingly integrated into the global economy through joint research and development ventures and transnational investment. At the same time, it will have the technological, financial and human resources to play an expanded altruistic role in global and regional health.
Tervonen-Gonçalves, Leena; Lehto, Juhani
Background This article explores the transfer of World Health Organization's (WHO) policy initiative Health for All by the Year 2000 (HFA2000) into national contexts by using the changes in the public health policies of Finland and Portugal from the 1970's onward and the relationship of these changes to WHO policy development as test cases. Finland and Portugal were chosen to be compared as they represent different welfare state types and as the paradigmatic transition from the old to new public health is assumed to be related to the wider welfare state development. Methods The policy transfer approach is used as a conceptual tool to analyze the possible policy changes related to the adaptation of HFA into the national context. To be able to analyze not only the content but also the contextual conditions of policy transfer Kingdon's analytical framework of policy analysis is applied. Conclusions Our analysis suggests that no significant change of health promotion policy resulted from the launch of HFA program neither in Finland nor in Portugal. Instead the changes that occurred in both countries were of incremental nature, in accordance with the earlier policy choices, and the adaptation of HFA program was mainly applied to the areas where there were national traditions. PMID:15585064
Mendes, Rosilda; Plaza, Veronica; Wallerstein, Nina
Health promotion programs are commonly viewed as value-free initiatives which seek to improve health, often through behavior change. An opposing view has begun to emerge that health promotion efforts, especially ones seeking to impact health policy and social determinants of health, are vulnerable to political contexts and may depend on who is in power at the time. This community-based participatory research study attempts to understand these interactions by applying a conceptual model focused on the power context, diverse stakeholder roles within this context, and the relationship of political levers and other change strategies to the sustainability of health promotion interventions aimed at health policy change. We present a case study of a health promotion coalition, New Mexico for Responsible Sex Education (NMRSE), as an example of power dynamics and change processes. Formed in 2005 in response to federal policies mandating abstinence-only education, NMRSE includes community activists, health promotion staff from the New Mexico Department of Health, and policy-maker allies. Applying an adapted Mayer's 'power analysis' instrument, we conducted semi-structured stakeholder interviews and triangulated political-context analyses from the perspective of the stakeholders.We identified multiple understandings of sustainability and health promotion policy change, including: the importance of diverse stakeholders working together in coalition and social networks; their distinct positions of power within their political contexts; the role of science versus advocacy in change processes; the particular challenges for public sector health promotion professionals; and other facilitators versus barriers to action. One problem that emerged consisted of the challenges for state employees to engage in health promotion advocacy due to limitations imposed on their activities by state and federal policies. This investigation's results include a refined conceptual model, a power-analysis
Policies relating to contraceptive services (population, family planning and reproductive health policies) often receive weak or fluctuating levels of commitment from national policy elites in Southern countries, leading to slow policy evolution and undermining implementation. This is true of Kenya, despite the government's early progress in committing to population and reproductive health policies, and its success in implementing them during the 1980s. This key informant study on family planning policy in Kenya found that policy space contracted, and then began to expand, because of shifts in contextual factors, and because of the actions of different actors. Policy space contracted during the mid-1990s in the context of weakening prioritization of reproductive health in national and international policy agendas, undermining access to contraceptive services and contributing to the stalling of the country's fertility rates. However, during the mid-2000s, champions of family planning within the Kenyan Government bureaucracy played an important role in expanding the policy space through both public and hidden advocacy ac