Public Health Policy and Health Policy Issues

Why Study Public Health Policy?

The urge to take a course in public health policy started in high school. This was after a health awareness seminar by the Provincial Ministry of Health. The seminar sought to create awareness on the importance of adopting healthy lifestyles to avoid communicable and non-communicable infections. In fact, the seminar also enlightened me on the importance of having good health policies in a nation in order to ensure good public health. Apparently, with good health policies, the general health of the nation will increase and as a result, more productivity will be realized. In addition, I learned that, with good policies, the delivery of care for diseases such as high blood pressure, cancer, HIV/Aids and diabetes could be improved. It is therefore the responsibility of everyone to make sure that the government has good and effective health care policies.

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Ever since the seminar, I have always felt that it is my responsibility to influence policymaking in my province and ultimately in the whole country. People are dying every day with ailments that could be prevented or stopped: if only we had better health policies. For instance, with good policies, it is possible to reduce the number of cases of high blood pressure. Good policies would advocate for better eating habits e.g. eating foods with less salt and engaging in physical activities.

It is my conviction that after taking this course, I will be more enlightened on the importance of having sound health policies than I currently am. Furthermore, I will learn about the factors that make good policies, how to implement them, and the various factors that influence smooth policy implementation.

Lessons to learn from the course

To begin with, I will learn about some of the ongoing healthy policy issues in the country. These are policies in the process of either being made or ones where there is a debate on the direction that should be taken. My aim will be to look at the background information surrounding these policies, their process of formation, implementation and ultimately their consequences. Secondly, I will be able to learn the different elements that make a policy workable. Finally, I expect to learn a lot from the guest speakers, as they are experts in this field.

Major Health Policy Issues

One of the major health concerns in Canada today is the uneven distribution of doctors in rural-urban areas. The majority of doctors are located in urban areas leaving the rural areas with very few medics. Most doctors prefer to work in urban areas because they are in a better position to access better facilities. This includes modern hospital equipments that are more likely to be found in urban areas rather than rural areas. This situation raises concerns on issues of equity and social justice and especially in a country where the government claims to provide universal health care. This situation calls for an immediate need to redistribute doctors equitably across the country.

It is essential for any country to have good and effective health policies. This ensures that the health of the public is well served by these policies. To achieve this, then, good training in health policy making is very important.

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