Elgar original reference
Edited by Alistair McGuire and Joan Costa-Font
Alistair McGuire and Joan Costa-Font Health policy attempts to explore the range of aims and objectives pursued in financing, producing and distributing health care to any given population. The analysis of health policy covers the implementation of specific policies as they attempt to target the delivery of health care to different individuals, assesses the equity and efficiency of this process and evaluates the outcomes as a means of increasing the health of specific populations. As such, health policy is a wide-ranging subject covering many academic disciplines, employing many different methodologies and, given the importance of the specific institutions financing, producing and delivering health care, tends to be country or even population specific. For these reasons the range of analytical coverage is vast. What most studies in health policy have in common is an interest in applying theory to improve practice. That the theory underlying health policy attempts to model a complex interplay of individual, community and society-wide behaviours means, not surprisingly, that the field encompasses many different ideas and analytical approaches, and advocates different practices depending on which of many analytical stances are adopted. It is a difficult area of study subject to many biases and flaws. Yet most health policy analysts would support the broad principle that policy ought to be evidence based. The aim of the chapters in this book is to bring to bear some evidence on a range of central areas within health policy. There is no doubt that the range of areas covered is not...