June 30, 2014

Who sets the health policy agenda?

Making Health Policy

From this book:
In relation to policy making, the term agenda means: the list of subjects or problems to which government officials and people outside of government closely associated with those officials, are paying some serious attention at any given time . Out of the set of all conceivable subjects or problems to which officials could be paying attention, they do in fact seriously attend to some rather than others.
The crucial issue is who sets the policy agenda, how and why. Two main sources appear as agenda-setting: government and mass media-social networks. There are of course, additional groups and lobbyists that can influence such a process.
Nowadays we could consider that the recession and cutbacks has created a window of opportunity for some to discuss many foundations of our health system. In such a situation, the worst position is the delay on setting the list of topics to be addressed by the government, otherwise non-elected bodies try to mobilise efforts and decisions towards their interests that add to those of the opposition. Therefore, if you are interested on the basics of agenda-setting, have a look at chapter 4 and ask yourself who is in control of it. Are you comfortable with the answer?. If not, something should be done.