The key to improving health services in many countries today is the capacity to develop strategy and think actively about policy. This book considers the relationship between planning and policy, taking as its starting point an analysis of health care and the dynamics of the policy process. The author provides a working knowledge of the different ways policy issues can be analyzed and sets out the problems involved in assessing the views of different interest groups. She stresses the importancr of suporting an active process of policy development. Carol Barker goes on to look at key concepts in analyzing health care issues and examines some of the debates overshadowing today's health policy agenda, as set by international agencies and by developing nations. She emphasizes the importance of understanding these issues as an aid to strategic thinking on policy implications in health care. An important focus of this book is an analysis of the extent to which policies can be changed or influenced by those involved in the process.
This book should enable the reader to develop an understanding of the breadth and objectives of health policy studies and the ability to assess both the need and the scope of change. It should be useful reading for students and academics of health care policy, as well as those involved in the policy process, whether as policy makers, researchers, managers or health care professionals.