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Public Health Policy

ISBN: 978-0-7456-2646-8
224 pages
October 2003, Polity
Public Health Policy (0745626467) cover image
This volume provides a new and innovative overview of the key debates relating to public health policy in the UK at a time when concern over public health has never been greater. Mounting public disquiet over a range of crises, such as foot and mouth, BSE and other food safety issues, public transport, pollution, obesity and the environment have fuelled this renewed interest. Yet, health policy remains preoccupied with health-care services.


In this book, David Hunter explains that, while they are important, health-care services are not the principal determinants of health. Why then, do they absorb the bulk of resources and attention of policy-makers? The reasons for the extraordinary difficulties encountered in putting health before health care are multiple and complex. Separate chapters cover a range of issues, including: the relationship between health and health care, health-care management and the powerful interests at work which prevent policy aspiration from becoming reality, attempts in the UK since 1992 to pay greater attention to health issues, and examples from Europe and Canada, where a similar policy imbalance exists. In conclusion, Hunter sets out the policy implications for the future and offers a way forward based on the concept of managing for health.


The approach throughout the book is accessible and user-friendly. It will be essential reading for students of public policy, health studies, social policy and sociology, and will also be invaluable to scholars, policy-makers, and health professionals interested in public health policy in the UK.

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List Of Figures And Boxes.

Preface.

Acknowledgements.

1. Introduction And Approach:.

Some ‘Simple Truths’ About Health Systems.

Policy Dilemmas And ‘Wicked Issues’.

The Politics Of Health Policy.

The Depoliticisation Of Health Policy.

Plan Of Book.

2. The Relationship Between Health And Health Care:.

Introduction.

Defining Health.

The Emergence Of The New Public Health.

Barriers To Progress.

Some Lessons From Lalonde.

The Post-Lalonde Era.

The UK Experience.

Conclusion.

3. Managing Medicine:.

Introduction.

Managing For What?.

The New Rationalism And Health.

The Rise Of Managerialism In Health Policy.

Managing Doctors.

Criticisms Of New Public Management.

Implications For Health Policy.

Last Word: Medicine, Management And Health.

4. Managing For Health:.

Introduction.

What Is Public Health?.

The Evolution Of The Public Health Function.

Public Health: A Specialty Or An Arena?.

A Response To Implementation Failure.

Approaches To Joined-Up Policy And Practice.

Conclusion.

5. Health Policy In A Devolved Polity Within Europe:.

Introduction.

The Impact Of Devolution.

The Impact Of Europe.

Conclusion.

6. Moving Out Of The Ghetto:.

Introduction.

That Is To Be Done?.

Towards Implementing A Policy For Health.

Managerial Capacity Building.

Last Word.

References.

Index

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David Hunter is a Professor of Health Policy and Management at the School for Health, University of Durham.
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  • A timely and innovative overview of the key debates relating to public health policy in the UK.
  • explains that health-care services are not the principal determinants of health, and asks why, therefore, they absorb the bulk of resources and attention of policy-makers.
  • Argues that a paradigm shift is needed if current health policy biases are to be confronted.
  • Uses examples from Europe and Canada, where a similar policy imbalance exists.
  • Sets out the policy implications for the future and offers a way forward based on the concept of managing for health.
See More
"Hunter provides a map of the recent history of public health and its link to health policy. His analysis of the twentieth-century public health profession and its weaknesses leads him to suggest new solutions for management and public health which shift the focus to health. This book makes an important contribution to the debate on raising the profile of health as an outcome of health policy. I can recommend it to all those interested in health management, policy or pubic health as a thoughtful analysis and a provocative challenge."

Sian Griffiths, University of Oxford


"Thoughtful, analytic and tough minded. David Hunter’s feeling for what makes health policy tick has been successfully applied to public health. Recommended reading for everyone interested in making health policy work for the better."

Geof Rayner, Chairman of the UK Public Health Association

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