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WHY IS A POLICY CYCLE AN APPROPRIATE TOOL FOR DEVELOPING A NEW POLICY? (YOUR RESPONSE MUST INCLUDE REFERENCED MATERIALS AND DO NOT USE DOT POINTS). HOW IS A HEALTH POLICY DIFFERENT TO A GOVERNMENT POLICY DOCUMENT? (YOUR RESPONSE MUST INCLUDE REFERENCED MATERIALS AND DO NOT USE DOT POINTS).
Why is a policy cycle an appropriate tool for developing a new policy? (your response must include referenced materials and do not use dot points).
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How is a health policy different to a government policy document? (your response must include referenced materials and do not use dot points).
How does the ‘new public health’ differ from the old public health approach? (your response must include referenced materials and do not use dot points).
What are key sociological issues and how do they determine a person’s state of health? (your response must include referenced materials and do not use dot points).
What policy considerations should be included in a national obesity health campaign? (your response must include referenced materials and do not use dot points).
1.2. What is Policy?
Policy, in the broadest sense, is something that has encompassed a set of specific issues, views, goals and ideas together and formed a plan of action based on this (Fleming & Parker, 2012). The aim of a policy is to solve potential problems through avoiding, preventing and even minimising these (Fleming & Parker, 2012). As Palmer and Short (2010) point out – policy can be a general set of intentions and directions or a specific statement. Time is represented by past, present and future directions and intentions (Palmer & Short, 2010). Public policy relates to government actions, laws and directives for a society or community including funding structures, regulatory control even cultural structure and societal morés.
Health policy specifically, is explained by Palmer and Short as a term that:
….embraces courses of action that affect the set of institutions, organisations, services and funding arrangements that we have called the healthcare system. It includes actions or intended actions by public, private and voluntary organisations that have an impact on health (2010, p.23).
1.3. The Policy Cycle
The definition of the term “policy” provides a broad statement that refers to a number of concepts that can vary from well defined objectives and processes to statements about organisational direction (Althaus, Bridgman & Davis, 2013). This unit involves an exploration of policy documents and courses of action that shape organisations, the provision of services and funding arrangements in the Australian Health Care system. Therefore, ‘health policy’ includes the actions that determine how health care is organised, how its services are delivered and the funding mechanisms that enable the process of delivery (Mason, Leavitt & Chaffee, 2012). It encompasses the role that private, public and non-government organisations play within the health care system.
Policy can be regarded as a set of ideals and activities aimed at decreasing inequalities or inequities by allocating and redistributing available resources. This process occurs at a local, state, national and international level.
Policy making has to contend with competing demands- allocation of resources, determination of priorities and competing values. It is a political process and takes account of:
availability of funds and funding mechanism
demography and epidemiology
electoral cycle and the government of day
media and community expectations
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