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  Subjects -> HEALTH AND SAFETY (Total: 1283 journals)
    - CIVIL DEFENSE (18 journals)
    - DRUG ABUSE AND ALCOHOLISM (87 journals)
    - HEALTH AND SAFETY (514 journals)
    - HEALTH FACILITIES AND ADMINISTRATION (379 journals)
    - OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY (106 journals)
    - PHYSICAL FITNESS AND HYGIENE (99 journals)
    - WOMEN'S HEALTH (80 journals)

HEALTH AND SAFETY (514 journals)                  1 2 3 | Last

Showing 1 - 200 of 203 Journals sorted alphabetically
16 de Abril     Open Access  
A Life in the Day     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9)
Acta Informatica Medica     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Acta Scientiarum. Health Sciences     Open Access  
Adultspan Journal     Hybrid Journal  
Advances in Child Development and Behavior     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10)
Advances in Public Health     Open Access   (Followers: 20)
African Health Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
African Journal for Physical, Health Education, Recreation and Dance     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6)
African Journal of Health Professions Education     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Afrimedic Journal     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Air Quality, Atmosphere & Health     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
AJOB Primary Research     Partially Free   (Followers: 2)
American Journal of Family Therapy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 10)
American Journal of Health Economics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 13)
American Journal of Health Education     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 25)
American Journal of Health Promotion     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 22)
American Journal of Health Studies     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8)
American Journal of Preventive Medicine     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 21)
American Journal of Public Health     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 179)
American Journal of Public Health Research     Open Access   (Followers: 27)
American Medical Writers Association Journal     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Analytic Methods in Accident Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Annali dell'Istituto Superiore di Sanità     Open Access  
Annals of Global Health     Open Access   (Followers: 8)
Annals of Health Law     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Annals of Tropical Medicine and Public Health     Open Access   (Followers: 15)
Applied Biosafety     Hybrid Journal  
Applied Research In Health And Social Sciences : Interface And Interaction     Open Access  
Archives of Medicine and Health Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Asia Pacific Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Asia Pacific Journal of Health Management     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Asia-Pacific Journal of Public Health     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Asian Journal of Gambling Issues and Public Health     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Atención Primaria     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Australasian Journal of Paramedicine     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Australian Advanced Aesthetics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Australian Family Physician     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin     Free   (Followers: 6)
Autism & Developmental Language Impairments     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Behavioral Healthcare     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Best Practices in Mental Health     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6)
Bijzijn     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Bijzijn XL     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Biomedical Safety & Standards     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 9)
BLDE University Journal of Health Sciences     Open Access  
BMC Oral Health     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth     Open Access   (Followers: 18)
BMJ Simulation & Technology Enhanced Learning     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7)
Brazilian Journal of Medicine and Human Health     Open Access  
Buletin Penelitian Kesehatan     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Buletin Penelitian Sistem Kesehatan     Open Access  
Bulletin of the World Health Organization     Open Access   (Followers: 15)
Cadernos de Educação, Saúde e Fisioterapia     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Cadernos Saúde Coletiva     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Canadian Family Physician     Partially Free   (Followers: 11)
Canadian Journal of Community Mental Health     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10)
Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Canadian Journal of Public Health     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 18)
Case Reports in Women's Health     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Case Studies in Fire Safety     Open Access   (Followers: 11)
Central Asian Journal of Global Health     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Central European Journal of Public Health     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
CES Medicina     Open Access  
Child Abuse Research in South Africa     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Child's Nervous System     Hybrid Journal  
Childhood Obesity and Nutrition     Open Access   (Followers: 10)
Children     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
CHRISMED Journal of Health and Research     Open Access  
Christian Journal for Global Health     Open Access  
Ciência & Saúde Coletiva     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Ciencia y Cuidado     Open Access  
Ciencia, Tecnología y Salud     Open Access  
ClinicoEconomics and Outcomes Research     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
CME     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
CoDAS     Open Access  
Community Health     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Conflict and Health     Open Access   (Followers: 8)
Curare     Open Access  
Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Day Surgery Australia     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Digital Health     Open Access  
Dramatherapy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Drogues, santé et société     Full-text available via subscription  
Duazary     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Early Childhood Research Quarterly     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 13)
East African Journal of Public Health     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Eating and Weight Disorders - Studies on Anorexia, Bulimia and Obesity     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 16)
EcoHealth     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Education for Health     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
electronic Journal of Health Informatics     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
ElectronicHealthcare     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Elsevier Ergonomics Book Series     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Emergency Services SA     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Ensaios e Ciência: Ciências Biológicas, Agrárias e da Saúde     Open Access  
Environmental Disease     Open Access  
Environmental Sciences Europe     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Epidemics     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Public Health     Open Access   (Followers: 18)
Ethics, Medicine and Public Health     Full-text available via subscription  
Ethiopian Journal of Health Development     Open Access   (Followers: 8)
Ethiopian Journal of Health Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 7)
Ethnicity & Health     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 13)
European Journal of Investigation in Health, Psychology and Education     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
European Medical, Health and Pharmaceutical Journal     Open Access  
Evaluation & the Health Professions     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Evidence-based Medicine & Public Health     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Evidência - Ciência e Biotecnologia - Interdisciplinar     Open Access  
Face à face     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Families, Systems, & Health     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8)
Family & Community Health     Partially Free   (Followers: 12)
Family Medicine and Community Health     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Family Relations     Partially Free   (Followers: 11)
Fatigue : Biomedicine, Health & Behavior     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Food and Public Health     Open Access   (Followers: 10)
Frontiers in Public Health     Open Access   (Followers: 8)
Gaceta Sanitaria     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Galen Medical Journal     Open Access  
Geospatial Health     Open Access  
Gesundheitsökonomie & Qualitätsmanagement     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11)
Giornale Italiano di Health Technology Assessment     Full-text available via subscription  
Global Health : Science and Practice     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Global Health Promotion     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 15)
Global Journal of Health Science     Open Access   (Followers: 6)
Global Journal of Public Health     Open Access   (Followers: 9)
Global Medical & Health Communication     Open Access  
Globalization and Health     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Hacia la Promoción de la Salud     Open Access  
Hastings Center Report     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
HEADline     Hybrid Journal  
Health & Place     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 14)
Health & Justice     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Health : An Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness and Medicine     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Health and Human Rights     Free   (Followers: 8)
Health and Social Care Chaplaincy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9)
Health and Social Work     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 45)
Health Behavior and Policy Review     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Health Care Analysis     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11)
Health Inform     Full-text available via subscription  
Health Information Management Journal     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 10)
Health Issues     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Health Policy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 32)
Health Policy and Technology     Hybrid Journal  
Health Professional Student Journal     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Health Promotion International     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 20)
Health Promotion Journal of Australia : Official Journal of Australian Association of Health Promotion Professionals     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10)
Health Promotion Practice     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 15)
Health Prospect     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Health Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 47)
Health Psychology Research     Open Access   (Followers: 18)
Health Psychology Review     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 39)
Health Renaissance     Open Access  
Health Research Policy and Systems     Open Access   (Followers: 9)
Health SA Gesondheid     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Health Science Reports     Open Access  
Health Sciences and Disease     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Health Services Insights     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Health Systems     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Health Voices     Full-text available via subscription  
Health, Culture and Society     Open Access   (Followers: 10)
Health, Risk & Society     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9)
Healthcare     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Healthcare in Low-resource Settings     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Healthcare Quarterly     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8)
HERD : Health Environments Research & Design Journal     Full-text available via subscription  
Highland Medical Research Journal     Full-text available via subscription  
Hispanic Health Care International     Full-text available via subscription  
HIV & AIDS Review     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10)
Home Health Care Services Quarterly     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Hong Kong Journal of Social Work, The     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Hospitals & Health Networks     Free   (Followers: 2)
IEEE Journal of Translational Engineering in Health and Medicine     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
IMTU Medical Journal     Full-text available via subscription  
Indian Journal of Health Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Inmanencia. Revista del Hospital Interzonal General de Agudos (HIGA) Eva Perón     Open Access  
Innovative Journal of Medical and Health Sciences     Open Access  
Institute for Security Studies Papers     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6)
interactive Journal of Medical Research     Open Access  
International Health     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
International Journal for Equity in Health     Open Access   (Followers: 7)
International Journal for Quality in Health Care     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 32)
International Journal of Applied Behavioral Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
International Journal of Behavioural and Healthcare Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
International Journal of Circumpolar Health     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
International Journal of Community Medicine and Public Health     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
International Journal of E-Health and Medical Communications     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health     Open Access   (Followers: 19)
International Journal of Evidence-Based Healthcare     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
International Journal of Food Safety, Nutrition and Public Health     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 13)
International Journal of Health & Allied Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
International Journal of Health Geographics     Open Access   (Followers: 6)
International Journal of Health Policy and Management     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
International Journal of Health Professions     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
International Journal of Health Promotion and Education     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12)
International Journal of Health Sciences Education     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
International Journal of Health Services     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 9)
International Journal of Health Studies     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
International Journal of Health System and Disaster Management     Open Access   (Followers: 2)

        1 2 3 | Last

Journal Cover International Journal of Health Policy and Management
  [2 followers]  Follow
    
  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
   ISSN (Online) 2322-5939
   Published by Kerman University of Medical Sciences Homepage  [5 journals]
  • (Re) Making the Procrustean Bed? Standardization and Customization as
           Competing Logics in Healthcare

    • Abstract: Recent years have witnessed a parallel and seemingly contradictory trend towards both the standardization and the customization of healthcare and medical treatment. Here, we explore what is meant by ‘standardization’ and ‘customization’ in healthcare settings and explore the implications of these changes for healthcare delivery. We frame the paradox of these divergent and opposing factors in terms of institutional logics – the socially constructed rules, practices and beliefs which perpetuate institutional behaviour. As the tension between standardization and customization is fast becoming a critical fault-line within many health systems, there remains an urgent need for more sustained work exploring how these competing logics are articulated, adapted, resisted and co-exist on the front line of care delivery.
      PubDate: Wed, 31 May 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • How Could Private Healthcare Better Contribute to Healthcare Coverage in
           Vietnam?

    • Abstract: Private healthcare services in Vietnam are seen as a major part of the solution to the rapid increase in need and demand for healthcare services. Formally recognized over 20 years ago, the private health services coexist with public services and are available all over the country. However, the scale and size of private sector is still small compared to the public sector and public acceptance and reputation still limited. There are substantial concerns with the quality of services and the adequacy of regulation. Human resource for health is currently inadequate to support growth in both public and private sectors. The role of the private sector in achieving Vietnam’s population health objectives is not clear. In this emerging economy, there is significant potential for increased dependency on private healthcare to increase health access inequities. This paper discusses how private healthcare could better contribute to healthcare coverage in Vietnam.
      PubDate: Wed, 31 May 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • An Assessment of National Maternal and Child Health Policy-Makers’
           Knowledge and Capacity for ...

    • Abstract: Background There is increasing interest globally in the use of more rigorous processes to ensure that maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH) care recommendations are informed by the best available research evidence use. The purpose of this study was to engage Nigerian MNCH policy-makers and other stakeholders to consider issues around research to policy and practice interface and to assess their existing knowledge and capacity on the use of research evidence for policy-making and practice.   Methods The study design is a cross-sectional evaluation of MNCH stakeholders’ knowledge as it pertains different dimensions of research to practice. This was undertaken during a national MNCH stakeholders’ engagement event convened under the auspices of the West African Health Organization (WAHO) and the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) in Abuja, Nigeria. A questionnaire was administered to participants, which was designed to assess participants’ knowledge, capacity and organizational process of generation, synthesis and utilization of research evidence in policy-making regarding MNCH.   Results A total of 40 participants signed the informed consent form and completed the questionnaire. The mean ratings (MNRs) of participants’ knowledge of electronic databases and capacity to identify and obtain relevant research evidence from electronic databases ranged from 3.62-3.68 on the scale of 5. The MNRs of participants’ level of understanding of a policy brief, a policy dialogue and the role of researchers in policy-making ranged from 3.50-3.86. The MNRs of participants’ level of understanding of evidence in policy-making context, types and sources of evidence, capacity to identify, select, adapt, and transform relevant evidence into policy ranged from 3.63-4.08. The MNRs of the participants’ organization’s capacity to cover their geographical areas of operation were generally low ranging from 3.32-3.38 in terms of manpower, logistics, facilities, and external support. The lowest MNR of 2.66 was recorded in funding.   Conclusion The outcomes of this study suggest that a stakeholders’ engagement event can serve as an important platform to assess policy-makers’ knowledge and capacity for evidence-informed policy-making and for the promotion of evidence use in the policy process.
      PubDate: Wed, 31 May 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • The Life Story Experience of “Migrant Dentists” in Australia:
           Potential Implications for ...

    • Abstract: Background The migration of dentists is a major policy challenge facing both developing and developed countries. Dentists from over 120 countries migrate to Australia, and a large proportion are from developing countries. The aim of the study was to assess the life story experience (LSE) of migrant dentists in Australia, in order to address key policy challenges facing dentist migration.   Methods A national survey of all migrant dentists resident in Australia was conducted in 2013. Migrant experiences were assessed through a suite of LSE scales, developed through a qualitative-quantitative study. Respondents rated experiences using a five-point Likert scale.   Results A total of 1022 migrant dentists responded to the survey (response rate = 54.5%). LSE1 (health system and general lifestyle concerns in home country), LSE2 (appreciation towards Australian way of life) and LSE3 (settlement concerns in Australia) scales varied by migrant dentist groups, sex, and years since arrival to Australia (chi-square, P < .05). In a logistic regression model, migrants mainly from developing countries (ie, the examination pathway group) faced greater health system and general lifestyle concerns in their home countries (9.32; 3.51-24.72) and greater settlement challenges in Australia (5.39; 3.51-8.28), compared to migrants from well-developed countries, who obtained direct recognition of qualifications. Migrants also are more appreciative towards the Australian way of life if they had lived at least ten years in Australia (1.97; 1.27-3.05), compared to migrants who have lived for less than ten years.   Conclusion Migrant dentists, mainly from developing countries, face challenges both in their home countries and in Australia. Our study offers evidence for multi-level health workforce governance and calls for greater consensus towards an international agenda to address dentist migration. Better integration of dentist migration with the mainstream health workforce governance is a viable and opportunistic way forward.
      PubDate: Wed, 31 May 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Evaluating Global Health Partnerships: A Case Study of a Gavi HPV Vaccine
           Application Process ...

    • Abstract: Background Global health partnerships have grown rapidly in number and scope, yet there has been less emphasis on their evaluation. Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, is one such public-private partnership; in Gavi-eligible countries partnerships are dynamic networks of immunization actors who work together to support all stages and aspects of Gavi support. This paper describes a conceptual framework – the partnership framework – and analytic approach for evaluating the perceptions of partnerships’ added value as well as the results from an application to one case in Uganda.   Methods We used a mixed-methods case study design embedded in the Gavi Full Country Evaluations (FCE) to test the partnership framework on Uganda’s human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine application partnership. Data from document review, interviews, and social network surveys enabled the testing of the relationships between partnership framework domains (context, structure, practices, performance, and outcomes). Topic guides were based on the framework domains and network surveys identified working together relationships, professional trust, and perceptions of the effectiveness, efficiency, and legitimacy of the partnership’s role in this process.   Results Data from seven in-depth interviews, 11 network surveys and document review were analyzed according to the partnership framework, confirming relationships between the framework domains. Trust was an important contributor to the perceived effectiveness of the process. The network was structured around the EPI program, who was considered the leader of this process. While the structure and composition of the network was largely viewed as supporting an effective and legitimate process, the absence of the Ministry of Education (MoE) may have had downstream consequences if this study’s results had not been shared with the Ministry of Health (MoH) and acted upon. The partnership was not perceived to have increased the efficiency of the process, perhaps as a result of unclear or absent guidelines around roles and responsibilities.   Conclusion The health and functioning of global health partnerships can be evaluated using the framework and approach presented here. Network theory and methods added value to the conceptual and analytic processes and we recommend applying this approach to other global health partnerships to ensure that they are meeting the complex challenges they were designed to address.
      PubDate: Wed, 31 May 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • A Policy Analysis on the Proactive Prevention of Chronic Disease:
           Learnings from the Initial ...

    • Abstract: Mexico, like many low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), faces an epidemic of chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs), specifically diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and lipid disorders. Many people with these NCDs may not be aware that they have a disease, pointing to the need for broader screening programs. The traditional prevention policy in Mexico was based on screening with a paper-based risk factor questionnaire. However, this was used to screen patients already seeking healthcare services at facilities, and screening goals were set as a function of the number of questionnaires applied, not number of individuals screened. Due to this, Fundación Carlos Slim developed Medición Integrada para la Detección Oportuna (MIDOTM), or Integrated Measurement for Early Detection, an NCD screening and proactive prevention policy. This document is a policy analysis based on early learnings from the initial implementation of MIDO in eight primary healthcare centers in two central Mexican states. MIDO was found to expand screening programs beyond clinic walls, systematize community screening strategies, emphasize the detection of pre-disease phases, incorporate lifestyle counseling, and propose screening goals based on population targets. In collaboration with the Mexican Ministry of Health, MIDO has successfully screened over 500 000 individuals—about 40% of whom would not have been screened under previous policies. Of these more than 500 000 screened individuals, 13.4% had pre-diabetes (fasting glucose between 100 and 125 mg/dL), and 5.8% had undiagnosed diabetes (defined as fasting glucose above 126 mg/dL or random glucose above 200 mg/dL). However, there is still room for improvement in linking positive results from screening with disease confirmation and with patient incorporation into disease management. The experience of implementing MIDO in Mexico suggests that primary and secondary prevention programs in other parts of the world should consider the need for population-based screening targets, a greater focus on pre-disease stages, and the streamlining of the transition between screening, confirmation of diagnosis, and incorporation of patients into the healthcare system.
      PubDate: Wed, 31 May 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • “Seeing” the Difference: The Importance of Visibility and
           Action as a Mark of ...

    • Abstract: The Rycroft-Malone paper states that co-production relies on ‘authentic’ collaboration as a context for action. Our commentary supports and extends this assertion. We suggest that ‘authentic’ co-production involves processes where participants can ‘see’ the difference that they have made within the project and beyond. We provide examples including: the use of design in health projects which seek to address power issues and make contributions visible through iteration and prototyping; and the development of ‘actionable outputs’ from research that are the physical embodiment of coproduction. Finally, we highlight the elements of the Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) architecture that enables the inclusion of such collaborative techniques that demonstrate visible co-production. We reinforce the notion that maintaining collaboration requires time, flexible resources, blurring of knowledge produceruser boundaries, and leaders who promote epistemological tolerance and methodological exploration.
      PubDate: Wed, 31 May 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • How the Spectre of Societal Homogeneity Undermines Equitable Healthcare
           for Refugees; Comment ...

    • Abstract: Recourse to a purported ideal of societal homogeneity has become common in the context of the refugee reception crisis – not only in Japan, as Leppold et al report, but also throughout Europe. Calls for societal homogeneity in Europe originate from populist movements as well as from some governments. Often, they go along with reduced social support for refugees and asylum seekers, for example in healthcare provision. The fundamental right to health is then reduced to a citizens’ right, granted fully only to nationals. Germany, in spite of welcoming many refugees in 2015, is a case in point: entitlement and access to healthcare for asylum seekers are restricted during the first 15 months of their stay. We show that arguments brought forward to defend such restrictions do not hold, particularly not those which relate to maintaining societal homogeneity. European societies are not homogeneous, irrespective of migration. But as migration will continue, societies need to invest in what we call “globalization within.” Removing entitlement restrictions and access barriers to healthcare for refugees and asylum seekers is one important element thereof.
      PubDate: Wed, 31 May 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • The Trans-Pacific Partnership: Should We “Fear the Fear”?; Comment on
           “The Trans-Pacific ...

    • Abstract: RLabonté et al entitle their paper in this issue of the International Journal of Health Policy and Management “The Trans-Pacific Partnership: Is It Everything We Feared for Health?” Tantalisingly, they do not directly answer the question they pose, and in this commentary, we suggest that it is the wrong question; we should not ‘fear’ the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) at all, rather we should ask how we are to respond. The public health community is right to be concerned with the potential implications of trade and investment agreements (TIAs) for health, particularly with shifts from multilateral to regional/bilateral agreements including provisions with greater risk to public health. But it is critical to understand also the potential health benefits, and especially the mitigating policy and governance mechanisms to respond to adverse TIA implications. Given entrenched and divergent sectoral worldviews and perspectives between trade and health communities on these issues, achieving the requisite understanding will also likely require characterisation of these perspectives and identification of areas of common understanding and agreed solutions
      PubDate: Wed, 31 May 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • The Global Health Crisis of Solidarity: A Response to Recent Commentaries

    • PubDate: Wed, 31 May 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • WHO FCTC as a Pioneering and Learning Instrument; Comment on “The
           Legal Strength of ...

    • Abstract: The World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) is a unique global health instrument, since it is in the health field the only instrument that is international law. After the 10 years of its existence an Independent Expert Group assessed the impact of the FCTC using all available data and visiting a number of countries interviewing different stakeholders. It is quite clear that the Treaty has acted as a strong catalyst and framework for national actions and that remarkable progress in global tobacco control can be seen. At the same time FCTC has moved tobacco control in countries from a pure health issue to a legal responsibility of the whole government, and on the international level created stronger interagency collaboration. The assessment also showed the many challenges. The spread of tobacco use, as well as of other risk lifestyles, is related to globalization. FCTC is a pioneering example of global action to counteract the negative social consequences of globalization. A convention is not an easy instrument, but the FCTC has undoubtedly sparked thinking and development of other stronger public health instruments and of needed governance structures.
      PubDate: Mon, 22 May 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Polycentrism in Global Health Governance Scholarship; Comment on “Four
           Challenges That Global ...

    • Abstract: Drawing on an in-depth analysis of eight global health networks, a recent essay in this journal argued that global health networks face four challenges to their effectiveness: problem definition, positioning, coalition-building, and governance. While sharing the argument of the essay concerned, in this commentary, we argue that these analytical concepts can be used to explicate a concept that has implicitly been used in global health governance scholarship for quite a few years. While already prominent in the discussion of climate change governance, for instance, global health governance scholarship could make progress by looking at global health governance as being polycentric. Concisely, polycentric forms of governance mix scales, mechanisms, and actors. Drawing on the essay, we propose a polycentric approach to the study of global health governance that incorporates coalitionbuilding tactics, internal governance and global political priority as explanatory factors.
      PubDate: Mon, 22 May 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Ensuring HIV Data Availability, Transparency and Integrity in the MENA
           Region; Comment on ...

    • Abstract: In this commentary, we elaborate on the main points that Karamouzian and colleagues have made about HIV data scarcity in Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) countries. Without accessible and reliable data, no epidemic can be managed effectively or efficiently. Clearly, increased investments are needed to bolster capabilities to capture and interpret HIV surveillance data. We believe that this enhanced capacity can be achieved, in part, by leveraging and repurposing existing data platforms, technologies and patient cohorts. An immediate modest investment that capitalizes on available infrastructure can generate data on the HIV burden and spread that can be persuasive for MENA policy-makers to intensify efforts to track and contain the growing HIV epidemic in this region. A focus on key populations will yield the most valuable data, including among men who have sex with men (MSM), transgender women and men, persons who inject drugs (PWIDs), female partners of high risk men and female sex workers.
      PubDate: Sun, 21 May 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Innovative Use of the Law to Address Complex Global Health Problems;
           Comment on “The Legal ...

    • Abstract: Addressing the increasingly globalised determinants of many important problems affecting human health is a complex task requiring collective action. We suggest that part of the solution to addressing intractable global health issues indeed lies with the role of new legal instruments in the form of globally binding treaties, as described in the recent article of Nikogosian and Kickbusch. However, in addition to the use of international law to develop new treaties, another part of the solution may lie in innovative use of existing legal instruments. A 2015 court ruling in The Hague, which ordered the Dutch government to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 25% within five years, complements this perspective, suggesting a way forward for addressing global health problems that critically involves civil society and innovative use of existing domestic legal instruments.
      PubDate: Fri, 19 May 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Multisectoral Actions for Health: Challenges and Opportunities in Complex
           Policy Environments

    • Abstract: Multisectoral actions for health, defined as actions undertaken by non-health sectors to protect the health of the population, are essential in the context of inter-linkages between three dimensions of sustainable development: economic, social, and environmental. These multisectoral actions can address the social and economic factors that influence the health of a population at the local, national, and global levels. This editorial identifies the challenges, opportunities and capacity development for effective multisectoral actions for health in a complex policy environment. The root causes of the challenges lie in poor governance such as entrenched political and administrative corruption, widespread clientelism, lack of citizen voice, weak social capital, lack of trust and lack of respect for human rights. This is further complicated by the lack of government effectiveness caused by poor capacity for strong public financial management and low levels of transparency and accountability which leads to corruption. The absence of or rapid changes in government policies, and low salary in relation to living standards result in migration out of qualified staff. Tobacco, alcohol and sugary drink industries are major risk factors for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and had interfered with health policy through regulatory capture and potential law suits against the government. Opportunities still exist. Some World Health Assembly (WHA) and United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolutions are both considered as external driving forces for intersectoral actions for health. In addition, Thailand National Health Assembly under the National Health Act is another tool providing opportunity to form trust among stakeholders from different sectors.   Capacity development at individual, institutional and system level to generate evidence and ensure it is used by multisectoral agencies is as critical as strengthening the health literacy of people and the overall good governance of a country.
      PubDate: Mon, 15 May 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Governing Collaborative Healthcare Improvement: Lessons From an Atlantic
           Canadian Case

    • Abstract: The Atlantic Healthcare Collaboration for Innovation and Improvement in Chronic Disease (AHC) Quality Improvement Collaborative (QIC) in Eastern Canada provided an approach to spur system-level reform across multiple health systems for patients and families living with chronic disease. Developed and led by senior executives with a unique governance approach and involving clinical front-line teams, the AHC serves as a practical example of leadership creating and driving momentum for achieving success in collaborative health system improvements.
      PubDate: Mon, 15 May 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Family Planning as a Possible Measure to Alleviate Poverty in the
           Philippines – Beyond ...

    • PubDate: Mon, 15 May 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • This Is My (Post) Truth, Tell Me Yours; Comment on “The Rise of
           Post-truth Populism in ...

    • Abstract: This is a commentary on the article ‘The rise of post-truth populism in pluralist liberal democracies: challenges for health policy.’ It critically examines two of its key concepts: populism and ‘post truth.’ This commentary argues that there are different types of populism, with unclear links to impacts, and that in some ways, ‘post-truth’ has resonances with arguments advanced in the period at the beginning of the British National Health Service (NHS). In short, ‘post-truth’ populism’ may be ‘déjà vu all over again,’ and there are multiple (post) truths: this is my (post) truth, tell me yours.
      PubDate: Sun, 14 May 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • An Evaluation of the Role of an Intermediate Care Facility in the
           Continuum of Care in Western ...

    • Abstract: BackgroundA comprehensive primary healthcare (PHC) approach requires clear referral and continuity of care pathways. South Africa is a lower-middle income country (LMIC) that lacks data on the role of intermediate care (IC) services in the health system. This study described the model of service provision at one facility in Cape Town, including reason for admission, the mix of services and skills provided and needed, patient satisfaction, patient outcome and articulation with other services across the spectrum of care.  MethodsA multi-method design was used. Sixty-eight patients were recruited over one month in mid-2011 in a prospective cohort. Patient data were collected from clinical record review and an interviewer-administered questionnaire, administered shortly after admission to assess primary and secondary diagnosis, referring institution, knowledge of and previous use of home based care (HBC) services, reason for admission and demographics. A telephonic questionnaire at 9-weeks post-discharge recorded their vital status, use of HBC post-discharge and their satisfaction with care received. Staff members completed a self-administered questionnaire to describe demographics and skills. Cox regression was used to identify predictors of survival. ResultsOf the 68 participants, 38% and 24% were referred from a secondary and tertiary hospital, respectively. Stroke (35%) was the most common single reason for admission. The three most common reasons reported why care was better at the IC facility were staff attitude, the presence of physiotherapy and the wound care. Even though most patients reported admission to another health facility in the preceding year, only 13 patients (21%) had ever accessed HBC and only 25% (n = 15) of discharged patients used HBC post-discharge. Of the 57 patients traced on follow-up, 21(37%) had died. The presence of a Care-plan was significantly associated with a 62% lower risk of death (hazard ratio: 0.38; CI 0.15–0.97). Notably, 46% of staff members reported performing roles that were outside their scope of practice and there was a mismatch between what staff reported doing and their actual tasks.  ConclusionClients understood this service as a caring environment primarily responsible for rehabilitation services. A Care-plan beyond admission could significantly reduce mortality. There was poor referral to and poor articulation with HBC services. IC services should be recognised as an integral part of the health system and should be accessible.
      PubDate: Sat, 13 May 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Public Health Policy and Experience of the 2009 H1N1 Influenza Pandemic in
           Pune, India

    • Abstract: Background Prior experience and the persisting threat of influenza pandemic indicate the need for global and local preparedness and public health response capacity. The pandemic of 2009 highlighted the importance of such planning and the value of prior efforts at all levels. Our review of the public health response to this pandemic in Pune, India, considers the challenges of integrating global and national strategies in local programmes and lessons learned for influenza pandemic preparedness.   Methods Global, national and local pandemic preparedness and response plans have been reviewed. In-depth interviews were undertaken with district health policy-makers and administrators who coordinated the pandemic response in Pune.   Results In the absence of a comprehensive district-level pandemic preparedness plan, the response had to be improvised. Media reporting of the influenza pandemic and inaccurate information that was reported at times contributed to anxiety in the general public and to widespread fear and panic. Additional challenges included inadequate public health services and reluctance of private healthcare providers to treat people with flu-like symptoms. Policy-makers developed a response strategy that they referred to as the Pune plan, which relied on powers sanctioned by the Epidemic Act of 1897 and resources made available by the union health ministry, state health department and a government diagnostic laboratory in Pune.   Conclusion The World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) global strategy for pandemic control focuses on national planning, but state-level and local experience in a large nation like India shows how national planning may be adapted and implemented. The priority of local experience and requirements does not negate the need for higher level planning. It does, however, indicate the importance of local adaptability as an essential feature of the planning process. Experience and the implicit Pune plan that emerged are relevant for pandemic preparedness and other public health emergencies.
      PubDate: Fri, 12 May 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Including Health in Environmental Assessments of Major Transport
           Infrastructure Projects: A ...

    • Abstract: Background Transport policy and practice impacts health. Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) are regulated public policy mechanisms that can be used to consider the health impacts of major transport projects before they are approved. The way health is considered in these environmental assessments (EAs) is not well known. This research asked: How and to what extent was human health considered in EAs of four major transport projects in Australia.   Methods We developed a comprehensive coding framework to analyse the Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) of four transport infrastructure projects: three road and one light rail. The coding framework was designed to capture how health was directly and indirectly included.   Results We found that health was partially considered in all four EISs. In the three New South Wales (NSW) projects, but not the one South Australian project, this was influenced by the requirements issued to proponents by the government which directed the content of the EIS. Health was assessed using human health risk assessment (HHRA). We found this to be narrow in focus and revealed a need for a broader social determinants of health approach, using multiple methods. The road assessments emphasised air quality and noise risks, concluding these were minimal or predicted to improve. The South Australian project was the only road project not to include health data explicitly. The light rail EIS considered the health benefits of the project whereas the others focused on risk. Only one project considered mental health, although in less detail than air quality or noise.   Conclusion Our findings suggest EIAs lag behind the known evidence linking transport infrastructure to health. If health is to be comprehensively included, a more complete model of health is required, as well as a shift away from health risk assessment as the main method used. This needs to be mandatory for all significant developments. We also found that considering health only at the EIA stage may be a significant limitation, and there is a need for health issues to be considered when earlier, fundamental decisions about the project are being made.
      PubDate: Tue, 09 May 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Define and Conquer: How Semantics Foster Progress; A Response to Recent
           Commentaries

    • PubDate: Tue, 09 May 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • New Health Technologies: A UK Perspective; Comment on “Providing
           Value to New Health ...

    • Abstract: New health technologies require development and evaluation ahead of being incorporated into the patient care pathway. In light of the recent publication by Lehoux et al who discuss the role of entrepreneurs, investors and regulators in providing value to new health technologies, we summarise the processes involved in making new health technologies available for use in the United Kingdom.
      PubDate: Mon, 08 May 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Managing In- and Out-Migration of Health Workforce in Selected Countries
           in South East Asia Region

    • Abstract: BackgroundThere is an increasing trend of international migration of health professionals from low- and middle- income countries to high-income countries as well as across middle-income countries. The WHO Global Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel was created to better address health workforce development and the ethical conduct of international recruitment. This study assessed policies and practices in 4 countries in South East Asia on managing the in- and out-migration of doctors and nurses to see whether the management has been in line with the WHO Global Code and has fostered health workforce development in the region; and draws lessons from these countries. MethodsFollowing the second round of monitoring of the Global Code of Practice, a common protocol was developed for an in-depth analysis of (a) destination country policy instruments to ensure expatriate and local professional quality through licensing and equal practice, (b) source country collaboration to ensure the out-migrating professionals are equally treated by destination country systems. Documents on employment practice for local and expatriate health professionals were also reviewed and synthesized by the country authors, followed by a cross-country thematic analysis. ResultsBhutan and the Maldives have limited local health workforce production capacities, while Indonesia and Thailand have sufficient capacities but are at risk of increased out-migration of nurses. All countries have mandatory licensing for local and foreign trained professionals. Legislation and employment rules and procedures are equally applied to domestic and expatriate professionals in all countries. Some countries apply mandatory renewal of professional licenses for local professionals that require continued professional development. Local language proficiency required by destination countries is the main barrier to foreign professionals gaining a license. The size of outmigration is unknown by these 4 countries, except in Indonesia where some formal agreements exist with other governments or private recruiters for which the size of outflows through these mechanisms can be captured.  ConclusionMandatory professional licensing, employment regulations and procedures are equally applied to domestic and foreign trained professionals, though local language requirements can be a barrier in gaining license. Source country policy to protect their out-migrating professionals by ensuring equal conditions of practice by destination countries is hampered by the fact that most out-migrating professionals leave voluntarily and are outside government to government agreements. This requires more international solidarity and collaboration between source and destination countries, for which the WHO Global Code is an essential and useful platform.
      PubDate: Sun, 07 May 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Measuring the Benefits of Healthcare: DALYs and QALYs – Does the Choice
           of Measure Matter? A ...

    • Abstract: Background The measurement of health benefits is a key issue in health economic evaluations. There is very scarce empirical literature exploring the differences of using quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) or disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) as benefit metrics and their potential impact in decision-making.   Methods Two previously published models delivering outputs in QALYs, were adapted to estimate DALYs: a Markov model for human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccination, and a pneumococcal vaccination deterministic model (PNEUMO). Argentina, Chile, and the United Kingdom studies were used, where local EQ-5D social value weights were available to provide local QALY weights. A primary study with descriptive vignettes was done (n = 73) to obtain EQ-5D data for all health states included in both models. Several scenario analyses were carried-out to evaluate the relative importance of using different metrics (DALYS or QALYs) to estimate health benefits on these economic evaluations.   Results QALY gains were larger than DALYs avoided in all countries for HPV, leading to more favorable decisions using the former. With discounting and age-weighting – scenario with greatest differences in all countries – incremental DALYs avoided represented the 75%, 68%, and 43% of the QALYs gained in Argentina, Chile, and United Kingdom respectively. Differences using QALYs or DALYs were less consistent and sometimes in the opposite direction for PNEUMO. These differences, similar to other widely used assumptions, could directly influence decision-making using usual gross domestic products (GDPs) per capita per DALY or QALY thresholds.   Conclusion We did not find evidence that contradicts current practice of many researchers and decision-makers of using QALYs or DALYs interchangeably. Differences attributed to the choice of metric could influence final decisions, but similarly to other frequently used assumptions.
      PubDate: Fri, 05 May 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Passed the Age of Puberty: Organizational Networks as a Way to Get Things
           Done in the Health ...

    • Abstract: In this commentary I will demonstrate that the case study of Uganda’s Human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine application partnership provides an excellent example of widening our lens by evaluating the successful HP vaccine coverage from a network-centric perspective. That implies that the organizational network is seen as the locus of production and that network theories become indispensable to analyze the situation at hand. The case study is, as said, an excellent example of how this can be done and my comments have to be read as an endorsement and a broadening of the discussion of what Carol Kamya and colleagues have presented. It is demonstrated that an organizational network approach can be considered a serious and mature way in understanding public health issues.
      PubDate: Tue, 02 May 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • “Stop, You’re Killing us!” An Alternative Take on Populism and
           Public Health; Comment on ...

    • Abstract: Ewen Speed and Russell Mannion correctly identify several contours of the challenges for health policy in what it is useful to think of as a post-democratic era. I argue that the problem for public health is not populism per se, but rather the distinctive populism of the right coupled with the failure of the left to develop compelling counternarratives. Further, defences of ‘science’ must be tempered by recognition of the unavoidably political dimensions of the (mis)use of scientific findings in public policy.
      PubDate: Tue, 25 Apr 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Economic Inequality in Presenting Vision in Shahroud, Iran: Two
           Decomposition Methods

    • Abstract: BackgroundVisual acuity, like many other health-related problems, does not have an equal distribution in terms of socio-economic factors. We conducted this study to estimate and decompose economic inequality in presenting visual acuity using two methods and to compare their results in a population aged 40-64 years in Shahroud, Iran. Methods: The data of 5188 participants in the first phase of the Shahroud Cohort Eye Study, performed in 2009, were used for this study. Our outcome variable was presenting vision acuity (PVA) that was measured using LogMAR (logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution). The living standard variable used for estimation of inequality was the economic status and was constructed by principal component analysis on home assets. Inequality indices were concentration index and the gap between low and high economic groups. We decomposed these indices by the concentration index and BlinderOaxaca decomposition approaches respectively and compared the results. ResultsThe concentration index of PVA was -0.245 (95% CI: -0.278, -0.212). The PVA gap between groups with a high and low economic status was 0.0705 and was in favor of the high economic group. Education, economic status, and age were the most important contributors of inequality in both concentration index and Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition. Percent contribution of these three factors in the concentration index and Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition was 41.1% vs. 43.4%, 25.4% vs. 19.1% and 15.2% vs. 16.2%, respectively. Other factors including gender, marital status, employment status and diabetes had minor contributions. ConclusionThis study showed that individuals with poorer visual acuity were more concentrated among people with a lower economic status. The main contributors of this inequality were similar in concentration index and Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition. So, it can be concluded that setting appropriate interventions to promote the literacy and income level in people with low economic status, formulating policies to address economic problems in the elderly, and paying more attention to their vision problems can help to alleviate economic inequality in visual acuity.
      PubDate: Fri, 21 Apr 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Eliminating Healthcare-Associated Infections in Iran: A Qualitative Study
           to Explore ...

    • Abstract: BackgroundAlthough preventable, healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) continue to pose huge health and economic burdens on countries worldwide. Some studies have indicated the numerous causes of HAIs, but only a tiny literature exists on the multifaceted measures that can be used to address the problem. This paper presents stakeholders’ opinions on measures for controlling HAIs in Iran.  MethodsWe used the qualitative research method in studying the phenomenon. Through a purposive sampling approach, we conducted 24 face-to-face interviews using a semi-structured interview guide. Participants were mainly key informants, including policy-makers, health professionals, and technical officers across the national and subnational levels, including the Ministry of Health (MoH), medical universities, and hospitals in Iran. We performed thematic framework analysis using the software MAXQDA10. ResultsFour main interdisciplinary themes emerged from our study of measures of controlling HAIs: strengthening governance and stewardship; strengthening human resources policies; appropriate prescription and usage of antibiotics; and environmental sanitation and personal hygiene. ConclusionAccording to our findings, elimination of HAIs demands multifactorial interventions. While the ultimate recommendation of policy-makers is to have HAIs among the priorities of the national agenda, financial commitment and the creation of an enabling work environment in which both patients and healthcare workers can practice personal hygiene could lead to a significant reduction in HAIs in Iran.
      PubDate: Fri, 14 Apr 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Performance-Based Financing to Strengthen the Health System in Benin:
           Challenging the ...

    • Abstract: BackgroundPerformance-based financing (PBF) is often proposed as a way to improve health system performance. In Benin, PBF was launched in 2012 through a World Bank-supported project. The Belgian Development Agency (BTC) followed suit through a health system strengthening (HSS) project. This paper analyses and draws lessons from the experience of BTC-supported PBF alternative approach – especially with regards to institutional aspects, the role of demand-side actors, ownership, and cost-effectiveness – and explores the mechanisms at stake so as to better understand how the “PBF package” functions and produces effects. MethodsAn exploratory, theory-driven evaluation approach was adopted. Causal mechanisms through which PBF is hypothesised to impact on results were singled out and explored. This paper stems from the co-authors’ capitalisation of experiences; mixed methods were used to collect, triangulate and analyse information. Results are structured along Witter et al framework. ResultsInfluence of context is strong over PBF in Benin; the policy is donor-driven. BTC did not adopt the World Bank’s mainstream PBF model, but developed an alternative approach in line with its HSS support programme, which is grounded on existing domestic institutions. The main features of this approach are described (decentralised governance, peer review verification, counter-verification entrusted to health service users’ platforms), as well as its adaptive process. PBF has contributed to strengthen various aspects of the health system and led to modest progress in utilisation of health services, but noticeable improvements in healthcare quality. Three mechanisms explaining observed outcomes within the context are described: comprehensive HSS at district level; acting on health workers’ motivation through a complex package of incentives; and increased accountability by reinforcing dialogue with demand-side actors. Cost-effectiveness and sustainability issues are also discussed. ConclusionBTC’s alternative PBF approach is both promising in terms of effects, ownership and sustainability, and less resource consuming. This experience testifies that PBF is not a uniform or rigid model, and opens the policy ground for recipient governments to put their own emphasis and priorities and design ad hoc models adapted to their context specificities. However, integrating PBF within the normal functioning of local health systems, in line with other reforms, is a big challenge.
      PubDate: Fri, 14 Apr 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Assessing Patient Organization Participation in Health Policy: A
           Comparative Study in France ...

    • Abstract: Background Even though there are many patient organizations across Europe, their role in impacting health policy decisions and reforms has not been well documented. In line with this, the present study endeavours to fill this gap in the international literature. To this end, it aims to validate further a previously developed instrument (the Health Democracy Index - HDI) measuring patient organization participation in health policy decision-making. In addition, by utilizing this tool, it aims to provide a snapshot of the degree and impact of cancer patient organization (CPO) participation in Italy and France.    Methods A convenient sample of 188 members of CPOs participated in the study (95 respondents from 10 CPOs in Italy and 93 from 12 CPOs in France). Participants completed online a self-reported questionnaire, encompassing the 9-item index and questions enquiring about the type and impact of participation in various facets of health policy decisionmaking. The psychometric properties of the scale were explored by performing factor analysis (construct validity) and by computing Cronbach α (internal consistency).   Results Findings indicate that the index has good internal consistency and the construct it taps is unidimensional. The degree and impact of CPO participation in health policy decision-making were found to be low in both countries; however in Italy they were comparatively lower than in France.   Conclusion In conclusion, the HDI can be effectively used in international policy and research contexts. CPOs participation is low in Italy and France and concerted efforts should be made on upgrading their role in health policy decision-making.
      PubDate: Fri, 14 Apr 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • “Enemies of the People?” Public Health in the Era of Populist
           Politics; Comment on “The ...

    • Abstract: In this commentary, we review the growth of populist politics, associated with exploitation of what has been termed fake news. We explore how certain words have been used in similar contexts historically, in particular the term “enemy of the people,” especially with regard to public health. We then set out 6 principles for public health professionals faced with these situations. First, using their epidemiological skills, they can provide insights into the reasons underlying the growth of populist politics. Second using their expertise in modelling and health impact assessment, they can anticipate and warn about the consequences of populist policies. Third, they can support the institutions that are necessary for effective public health. Fourth they can reclaim the narrative, rejecting hatred and division, to promote social solidarity. Fifth, they can support fact checking and the use of evidence. Finally, they should always remember the lessons of history, and in particular, the way that public health has, on occasions, collaborated with totalitarian and genocidal regimes.
      PubDate: Fri, 14 Apr 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Public Spending on Health Service and Policy Research in Canada, the
           United Kingdom, and the ...

    • Abstract: Health services and policy research (HSPR) represent a multidisciplinary field which integrates knowledge from health economics, health policy, health technology assessment, epidemiology, political science among other fields, to evaluate decisions in health service delivery. Health service decisions are informed by evidence at the clinical, organizational, and policy level, levels with distinct, managerial drivers. HSPR has an evolving discourse spanning knowledge translation, linkage and exchange between research and decision-maker partners and more recently, implementation science and learning health systems. Local context is important for HSPR and is important in advancing health reform practice. The amounts and configuration of national investment in this field remain important considerations which reflect priority investment areas. The priorities set within this field or research may have greater or lesser effects and promise with respect to modernizing health services in pursuit of better value and better population outcomes. Within Canada an asset map for HSPR was published by the national HSPR research institute. Having estimated publiclyfunded research spending in Canada, we sought identify best available comparable estimates from the United States and the United Kingdom. Investments from industry and charitable organizations were not included in these numbers. This commentary explores spending by the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom on HSPR as a fraction of total public spending on health and the importance of these respective investments in advancing health service performance. Proposals are offered on the merits of common nomenclature and accounting for areas of investigation in pursuit of some comparable way of assessing priority HSPR investments and suggestions for earmarking such investments to total investment in health services spending.
      PubDate: Sun, 09 Apr 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Evaluating the Process and Extent of Institutionalization: A Case Study of
           a Rapid Response ...

    • Abstract: BackgroundGood decision-making requires gathering and using sufficient information. Several knowledge translation platforms have been introduced in Burkina Faso to support evidence-informed decision-making. One of these is the rapid response service for health. This platform aims to provide quick access for policy-makers in Burkina Faso to highquality research evidence about health systems. The purpose of this study is to describe the process and extent of the institutionalization of the rapid response service. MethodsA qualitative case study design was used, drawing on interviews with policy-makers, together with documentary analysis. Previously used institutionalization frameworks were combined to guide the analysis.  ResultsBurkina Faso’s rapid response service has largely reached the consolidation phase of the institutionalization process but not yet the final phase of maturity. The impetus for the project came from designated project leaders, who convinced policy-makers of the importance of the rapid response service, and obtained resources to run a pilot. During the expansion stage, additional policy-makers at national and sub-national levels began to use the service. Unit staff also tried to improve the way it was delivered, based on lessons learned during the pilot stage. The service has, however, stagnated at the consolidation stage, and not moved into the final phase of maturity.  ConclusionThe institutionalization process for the rapid response service in Burkina Faso has been fluid rather than linear, with some areas developing faster than others. The service has reached the consolidation stage, but now requires additional efforts to reach maturity.
      PubDate: Sun, 09 Apr 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Professionalizing Healthcare Management: A Descriptive Case Study

    • Abstract: Despite international recognition of the importance of healthcare management in the development of high-performing systems, the path by which countries may develop and sustain a professional healthcare management workforce has not been articulated. Accordingly, we sought to identify a set of common themes in the establishment of a professional workforce of healthcare managers in low- and middle-income country (LMIC) settings using a descriptive case study approach. We draw on a historical analysis of the development of this profession in the United States and Ethiopia to identify five common themes in the professionalization of healthcare management: (1) a country context in which healthcare management is demanded; (2) a national framework that elevates a professional management role; (3) standards for healthcare management, and a monitoring function to promote adherence to standards; (4) a graduatelevel educational path to ensure a pipeline of well-prepared healthcare managers; and (5) professional associations to sustain and advance the field. These five components can to inform the creation of a long-term national strategy for the development of a professional cadre of heathcare managers in LMIC settings.
      PubDate: Sat, 08 Apr 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • How Are New Vaccines Prioritized in Low-Income Countries? A Case Study of
           Human Papilloma Virus ...

    • Abstract: BackgroundTo date, research on priority-setting for new vaccines has not adequately explored the influence of the global, national and sub-national levels of decision-making or contextual issues such as political pressure and stakeholder influence and power. Using Kapiriri and Martin’s conceptual framework, this paper evaluates priority setting for new vaccines in Uganda at national and sub-national levels, and considers how global priorities can influence country priorities. This study focuses on 2 specific vaccines, the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine and the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV).  MethodsThis was a qualitative study that involved reviewing relevant Ugandan policy documents and media reports, as well as 54 key informant interviews at the global level and national and sub-national levels in Uganda. Kapiriri and Martin’s conceptual framework was used to evaluate the prioritization process.  ResultsPriority setting for PCV and HPV was conducted by the Ministry of Health (MoH), which is considered to be a legitimate institution. While respondents described the priority setting process for PCV process as transparent, participatory, and guided by explicit relevant criteria and evidence, the prioritization of HPV was thought to have been less transparent and less participatory. Respondents reported that neither process was based on an explicit priority setting framework nor did it involve adequate representation from the districts (program implementers) or publicity. The priority setting process for both PCV and HPV was negatively affected by the larger political and economic context, which contributed to weak institutional capacity as well as power imbalances between development assistance partners and the MoH.  ConclusionPriority setting in Uganda would be improved by strengthening institutional capacity and leadership and ensuring a transparent and participatory processes in which key stakeholders such as program implementers (the districts) and beneficiaries (the public) are involved. Kapiriri and Martin’s framework has the potential to guide priority setting evaluation efforts, however, evaluation should be built into the priority setting process a priori such that information on priority setting is gathered throughout the implementation cycle.
      PubDate: Fri, 07 Apr 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Why and How Political Science Can Contribute to Public Health?
           Proposals for Collaborative ...

    • Abstract: Written by a group of political science researchers, this commentary focuses on the contributions of political science to public health and proposes research avenues to increase those contributions. Despite progress, the links between researchers from these two fields develop only slowly. Divergences between the approach of political science to public policy and the expectations that public health can have about the role of political science, are often seen as an obstacle to collaboration between experts in these two areas. Thus, promising and practical research avenues are proposed along with strategies to strengthen and develop them. Considering the interdisciplinary and intersectoral nature of population health, it is important to create a critical mass of researchers interested in the health of populations and in healthy public policy that can thrive working at the junction of political science and public health.
      PubDate: Tue, 04 Apr 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Ethics in HTA: Examining the “Need for Expansion”

    • Abstract: The article by Daniels and colleagues on expanding the scope of health technology assessment (HTA) to embrace ethical analysis has received endorsement and criticism from commentators in this journal. Referring to this debate, we examine in this article the extent and locus of ethical analysis in HTA processes. An expansion/no-expansion framing of HTA is, in our view, not very fruitful. We argue that meaningfulness and relevance to the needs of the population are what should determine the extent of ethics in HTA. Once ‘relevance’ is the guiding principle, engaging in ethical analysis becomes inevitable as values are all over the place in HTA, also in how assessors frame research questions. We also challenge dividing the locus of ethical analysis into assessment and appraisal as this would detach HTA from its purpose, ie, supporting legitimate decision-making. Ethical analysis should therefore be considered integral to the HTA process.
      PubDate: Tue, 04 Apr 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • The Potential Possibility of Symptom Checker

    • PubDate: Tue, 04 Apr 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Governance and Capacity to Manage Resilience of Health Systems: Towards a
           New Conceptual Framework

    • Abstract: The term resilience has dominated the discourse among health systems researchers since 2014 and the onset of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. There is wide consensus that the global community has to help build more resilient health systems. But do we really know what resilience means, and do we all have the same vision of resilience? The present paper presents a new conceptual framework on governance of resilience based on systems thinking and complexity theories. In this paper, we see resilience of a health system as its capacity to absorb, adapt and transform when exposed to a shock such as a pandemic, natural disaster or armed conflict and still retain the same control over its structure and functions.
      PubDate: Mon, 03 Apr 2017 19:30:00 +010
       
  • Should Employers Be Permitted not to Hire Smokers? A Review of US
           Legal Provisions

    • Abstract: BackgroundIncreasingly, healthcare and non-healthcare employers prohibit or penalize the use of tobacco products among current and new employees in the United States. Despite this trend, and for a range of different reasons, around half of states currently legally protect employees from being denied positions, or having employment contracts terminated, due to tobacco use.  MethodsWe undertook a conceptual analysis of legal provisions in all 50 states.  ResultsWe found ethically relevant variations in terms of how tobacco is defined, which employee populations are protected, and to what extent they are protected. Furthermore, the underlying ethical rationales for smoker protection differ, and can be grouped into two main categories: prevention of discrimination and protection of privacy.  ConclusionWe critically discuss these rationales and the role of their advocates and argue that enabling equality of opportunity is a more adequate overarching concept for preventing employers from disadvantaging smokers.
      PubDate: Tue, 14 Mar 2017 20:30:00 +010
       
  • Evaluating the Implementation and Feasibility of a Web-Based Tool to
           Support Timely ...

    • Abstract: Background Understanding and addressing the needs of frail persons is an emerging health priority for Nova Scotia and internationally. Primary healthcare (PHC) providers regularly encounter frail persons in their daily clinical work. However, routine identification and measurement of frailty is not standard practice and, in general, there is a lack of awareness about how to identify and respond to frailty. A web-based tool called the Frailty Portal was developed to aid in identifying, screening, and providing care for frail patients in PHC settings. In this study, we will assess the implementation feasibility and impact of the Frailty Portal to: (1) support increased awareness of frailty among providers and patients, (2) identify the degree of frailty within individual patients, and (3) develop and deliver actions to respond to frailtyl in community PHC practice.   Methods This study will be approached using a convergent mixed method design where quantitative and qualitative data are collected concurrently, in this case, over a 9-month period, analyzed separately, and then merged to summarize, interpret and produce a more comprehensive understanding of the initiative’s feasibility and scalability. Methods will be informed by the ‘Implementing the Frailty Portal in Community Primary Care Practice’ logic model and questions will be guided by domains and constructs from an implementation science framework, the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR).   Discussion The ‘Frailty Portal’ aims to improve access to, and coordination of, primary care services for persons experiencing frailty. It also aims to increase primary care providers’ ability to care for patients in the context of their frailty. Our goal is to help optimize care in the community by helping community providers gain the knowledge they may lack about frailty both in general and in their practice, support improved identification of frailty with the use of screening tools, offer evidence based severity-specific care goals and connect providers with local available community supports.
      PubDate: Mon, 06 Mar 2017 20:30:00 +010
       
  • Does Scale of Public Hospitals Affect Bargaining Power? Evidence From
           Japan

    • Abstract: Background Many of public hospitals in Japan have had a deficit for a long time. Japanese local governments have been encouraging public hospitals to use group purchasing of drugs to benefit from the economies of scale, and increase their bargaining power for obtaining discounts in drug purchasing, thus improving their financial situation. In this study, we empirically investigate whether or not the scale of public hospitals actually affects their bargaining power.   Methods Using micro-level panel data on public hospitals, we examine the effect of the scale of public hospitals (in terms of the number of occupancy beds) on drug purchasing efficiency (DPE) (the average discount rate in purchasing drugs) as a proxy variable of the bargaining power. Additionally, we evaluate the effect of the presence or absence of management responsibility in public hospital for economic efficiency as the proxy variable of an economic incentive and its interaction with the hospital scales on the bargaining power. In the estimations, we use the fixed effects model to control the heterogeneity of each hospital in order to estimate reliable parameters.   Results The scale of public hospitals does not positively correlate with bargaining power, whereas the management responsibility for economic efficiency does. Additionally, scale does not interact with management responsibility.   Conclusion Giving management responsibility for economic efficiency to public hospitals is a more reliable way of gaining bargaining power in drug purchasing, rather than promoting the increase in scale of these public hospitals.
      PubDate: Mon, 06 Mar 2017 20:30:00 +010
       
  • Bringing Value-Based Perspectives to Care: Including Patient and Family
           Members in ...

    • Abstract: BackgroundRecent evidence shows that patient engagement is an important strategy in achieving a high performing healthcare system. While there is considerable evidence of implementation initiatives in direct care context, there is limited investigation of implementation initiatives in decision-making context as it relates to program planning, service delivery and developing policies. Research has also shown a gap in consistent application of system-level strategies that can effectively translate organizational policies around patient and family engagement into practice.  MethodsThe broad objective of this initiative was to develop a system-level implementation strategy to include patient and family advisors (PFAs) at decision-making points in primary healthcare (PHC) based on wellestablished evidence and literature. In this opportunity sponsored by the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement (CFHI) a co-design methodology, also well-established was applied in identifying and developing a suitable implementation strategy to engage PFAs as members of quality teams in PHC. Diabetes management centres (DMCs) was selected as the pilot site to develop the strategy. Key steps in the process included review of evidence, review of the current state in PHC through engagement of key stakeholders and a co-design approach.  ResultsThe project team included a diverse representation of members from the PHC system including patient advisors, DMC team members, system leads, providers, Public Engagement team members and CFHI improvement coaches. Key outcomes of this 18-month long initiative included development of a working definition of patient and family engagement, development of a Patient and Family Engagement Resource Guide and evaluation of the resource guide.  ConclusionThis novel initiative provided us an opportunity to develop a supportive system-wide implementation plan and a strategy to include PFAs in decision-making processes in PHC. The well-established co-design methodology further allowed us to include value-based (customer driven quality and experience of care) perspectives of several important stakeholders including patient advisors. The next step will be to implement the strategy within DMCs, spread the strategy PHC, both locally and provincially with a focus on sustainability.
      PubDate: Sun, 05 Mar 2017 20:30:00 +010
       
  • Global Alcohol Harm Network: Struggling or Emerging? A Response to
           Shiffman

    • PubDate: Fri, 03 Mar 2017 20:30:00 +010
       
  • Lost in Translation: Piloting a Novel Framework to Assess the Challenges
           in Translating ...

    • Abstract: BackgroundCalls for evidence-informed public health policy, with implicit promises of greater program effectiveness, have intensified recently. The methods to produce such policies are not self-evident, requiring a conciliation of values and norms between policy-makers and evidence producers. In particular, the translation of uncertainty from empirical research findings, particularly issues of statistical variability and generalizability, is a persistent challenge because of the incremental nature of research and the iterative cycle of advancing knowledge and implementation. This paper aims to assess how the concept of uncertainty is considered and acknowledged in World Health Organization (WHO) policy recommendations and guidelines.  MethodsWe selected four WHO policy statements published between 2008-2013 regarding maternal and child nutrient supplementation, infant feeding, heat action plans, and malaria control to represent topics with a spectrum of available evidence bases. Each of these four statements was analyzed using a novel framework to assess the treatment of statistical variability and generalizability. ResultsWHO currently provides substantial guidance on addressing statistical variability through GRADE (Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation) ratings for precision and consistency in their guideline documents. Accordingly, our analysis showed that policy-informing questions were addressed by systematic reviews and representations of statistical variability (eg, with numeric confidence intervals). In contrast, the presentation of contextual or “background” evidence regarding etiology or disease burden showed little consideration for this variability. Moreover, generalizability or “indirectness” was uniformly neglected, with little explicit consideration of study settings or subgroups.  ConclusionIn this paper, we found that non-uniform treatment of statistical variability and generalizability factors that may contribute to uncertainty regarding recommendations were neglected, including the state of evidence informing background questions (prevalence, mechanisms, or burden or distributions of health problems) and little assessment of generalizability, alternate interventions, and additional outcomes not captured by systematic review. These other factors often form a basis for providing policy recommendations, particularly in the absence of a strong evidence base for intervention effects. Consequently, they should also be subject to stringent and systematic evaluation criteria. We suggest that more effort is needed to systematically acknowledge (1) when evidence is missing, conflicting, or equivocal, (2) what normative considerations were also employed, and (3) how additional evidence may be accrued.
      PubDate: Tue, 28 Feb 2017 20:30:00 +010
       
  • “Not Everything That Is Faced Can Be Changed, but Nothing Can Be
           Changed Until It Is ...

    • PubDate: Tue, 28 Feb 2017 20:30:00 +010
       
  • Exploring the Functioning of Decision Space: A Review of the Available
           Health Systems Literature

    • Abstract: BackgroundThe concept of decision space holds appeal as an approach to disaggregating the elements that may influence decision-making in decentralized systems. This narrative review aims to explore the functioning of decision space and the factors that influence decision space. MethodsA narrative review of the literature was conducted with searches of online databases and academic journals including PubMed Central, Emerald, Wiley, Science Direct, JSTOR, and Sage. The articles were included in the review based on the criteria that they provided insight into the functioning of decision space either through the explicit application of or reference to decision space, or implicitly through discussion of decision-making related to organizational capacity or accountability mechanisms. ResultsThe articles included in the review encompass literature related to decentralisation, management and decision space. The majority of the studies utilise qualitative methodologies to assess accountability mechanisms, organisational capacities such as finance, human resources and management, and the extent of decision space. Of the 138 articles retrieved, 76 articles were included in the final review.  ConclusionThe literature supports Bossert’s conceptualization of decision space as being related to organizational capacities and accountability mechanisms. These functions influence the decision space available within decentralized systems. The exact relationship between decision space and financial and human resource capacities needs to be explored in greater detail to determine the potential influence on system functioning.
      PubDate: Sun, 26 Feb 2017 20:30:00 +010
       
  • Contextualizing Obesity and Diabetes Policy: Exploring a Nested
           Statistical and Constructivist ...

    • Abstract: BackgroundThis article conducts a comparative national and subnational government analysis of the political, economic, and ideational constructivist contextual factors facilitating the adoption of obesity and diabetes policy.  MethodsWe adopt a nested analytical approach to policy analysis, which combines cross-national statistical analysis with subnational case study comparisons to examine theoretical prepositions and discover alternative contextual factors; this was combined with an ideational constructivist approach to policy-making.  ResultsContrary to the existing literature, we found that with the exception of cross-national statistical differences in access to healthcare infrastructural resources, the growing burden of obesity and diabetes, rising healthcare costs and increased citizens’ knowledge had no predictive affect on the adoption of obesity and diabetes policy. We then turned to a subnational comparative analysis of the states of Mississippi in the United States and Rio Grande do Norte in Brazil to further assess the importance of infrastructural resources, at two units of analysis: the state governments versus rural municipal governments. Qualitative evidence suggests that differences in subnational healthcare infrastructural resources were insufficient for explaining policy reform processes, highlighting instead other potentially important factors, such as state-civil societal relationships and policy diffusion in Mississippi, federal policy intervention in Rio Grande do Norte, and politicians’ social construction of obesity and the resulting differences in policy roles assigned to the central government.  ConclusionWe conclude by underscoring the complexity of subnational policy responses to obesity and diabetes, the importance of combining resource and constructivist analysis for better understanding the context of policy reform, while underscoring the potential lessons that the United States can learn from Brazil.
      PubDate: Sun, 26 Feb 2017 20:30:00 +010
       
  • How Should Global Fund Use Value-for-Money Information to Sustain its
           Investments in Graduating ...

    • Abstract: It has been debated whether the Global Fund (GF), which is supporting the implementation of programs on the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria, should consider the value-for-money (VFM) for programs/interventions that they are supporting. In this paper, we critically analyze the uses of economic information for GF programs, not only to ensure accountability to their donors but also to support country governments in continuing investment in cost-effective interventions initiated by the GF despite the discontinuation of financial support after graduation. We demonstrate that VFM is not a static property of interventions and may depend on program start-up cost, economies of scales, the improvement of effectiveness and efficiency of providers once the program develops, and acceptance and adherence of the target population. Interventions that are cost-ineffective in the beginning may become cost-effective in later stages. We consider recent GF commitments towards value for money and recommend that the GF supports interventions with proven cost-effectiveness from program initiation as well as interventions that may be cost-effective afterwards. Thus, the GF and country governments should establish mechanisms to monitor cost-effectiveness of interventions invested over time.
      PubDate: Sun, 26 Feb 2017 20:30:00 +010
       
  • To What Extent Is Long-term Care Representative of Elderly Care? A Case
           Study of Elderly Care ...

    • Abstract: The ageing of European population has been rapidly increasing during the last decades, and the problem of elderly care financing has become an issue for policy-makers. Long-term care (LTC) financing is considered a suitable proxy of the resources committed to elderly care by each government, but the preciseness of this approximation depends on the extent to which LTC is representative of elderly care within each country. Since there is a broad heterogeneity in LTC funding, organization and setting among European States, it is difficult to find a common parameter representing the public resources destined to the elderly care. We address these topics employing as a case study an Italian region, Lombardy, which in terms of population, dimension, healthcare organization and economic development could be compared to other European countries. The method we suggest, which consists basically in a careful estimate of all the public resources employed in the provision of services exclusively destined to the elderly, could be applied, with the due differences, to other European countries or regions.
      PubDate: Fri, 24 Feb 2017 20:30:00 +010
       
  • On the Social Construction of Overdiagnosis; Comment on
           “Medicalisation and Overdiagnosis: ...

    • Abstract: In an interesting article Wieteke van Dijk and colleagues argue that societal developments and values influence the practice of medicine, and thus can result in both medicalisation and overdiagnosis. They provide a convincing argument that overdiagnosis emerges in a social context and that it has socially constructed implications. However, they fail to show that overdiagnosis per se is socially constructed and how this construction occurs. Moreover, the authors discuss overdiagnosis on a micro level without acknowledging that overdiagnosis cannot be observed in individuals “in the doctor’s office.” We cannot tell whether a diagnosed person is overdiagnosed or not. This is the core of the problem. Despite these shortcomings, Wieteke van Dijk and her colleagues are certainly on to something important, and they should be encouraged to elaborate their perspective. We certainly need to deepen our understanding of the social construction of overdiagnosis.
      PubDate: Fri, 24 Feb 2017 20:30:00 +010
       
  • Overdiagnosis: An Important Issue That Demands Rigour and Precision;
           Comment on ...

    • Abstract: Van Dijk and colleagues present three cases to illustrate and discuss the relationship between medicalisation and overdiagnosis. In this commentary, I consider each of the case studies in turn, and in doing so emphasise two main points. The first is that it is not possible to assess whether overdiagnosis is occurring based solely on incidence rates: it is necessary also to have data about the benefits and harms that are produced by diagnosis. The second is that much is at stake in discussions of overdiagnosis in particular, and that it is critical that work in this area is conceptually rigorous, well-reasoned, and empirically sound. van Dijk and colleagues remind us that overdiagnosis and medicalisation are not just matters for individual patients and their clinicians: they also concern health systems, and society and citizens more broadly.
      PubDate: Fri, 24 Feb 2017 20:30:00 +010
       
  • Ineffective Healthcare Technology Management in Benin’s Public Health
           Sector: The Perceptions ...

    • Abstract: BackgroundLow-income countries face many contextual challenges to manage healthcare technologies effectively, as the majority are imported and resources are constrained to a greater extent. Previous healthcare technology management (HTM) policies in Benin have failed to produce better quality of care for the population and costeffectiveness for the government. This study aims to identify and assess the main problems facing HTM in Benin’s public health sector, as well as the ability of key actors within the sector to address these problems.  MethodsWe conducted 2 surveys in 117 selected health facilities. The first survey was based on 377 questionnaires and 259 interviews, and the second involved observation and group interviews at health facilities. The Temple-Bird Healthcare Technology Package System (TBHTPS), tailored to the context of Benin’s health system, was used as a conceptual framework.  ResultsThe findings of the first survey show that 85% of key actors in Benin’s HTM sector characterized the system as failing in components of the TBHTPS framework. Biomedical, clinical, healthcare technology engineers and technicians perceived problems most severely, followed by users of equipment, managers and hospital directors, international organization officers, local and foreign suppliers, and finally policy-makers, planners and administrators at the Ministry of Health (MoH). The 5 most important challenges to be addressed are policy, strategic management and planning, and technology needs assessment and selection – categorized as major enabling inputs(MEI) in HTM by the TBHTPS framework – and installation and commissioning, training and skill development and procurement, which are import and use activities(IUA). The ability of each key actor to address these problems (the degree of political or administrative power they possess) was inversely proportional to their perception of the severity of the problems. Observational data gathered during site visits described a different set of challenges including maintenance and repair, distribution, installation and commissioning, use and training and personnel skill development.  ConclusionThe lack of experiential and technical knowledge in policy development processes could underpin many of the continuing problems in Benin’s HTM system. Before solutions can be devised to these problems, it is necessary to investigate their root causes, and which problems are most amenable to policy development.
      PubDate: Sun, 19 Feb 2017 20:30:00 +010
       
  • Mistaking the Map for the Territory: What Society Does With Medicine;
           Comment on ...

    • Abstract: Van Dijk et al describe how society’s influence on medicine drives both medicalisation and overdiagnosis, and allege that a major political and ethical concern regarding our increasingly interpreting the world through a biomedical lens is that it serves to individualise and depoliticize social problems. I argue that for medicalisation to serve this purpose, it would have to exclude the possibility of also considering problems in other (social or political) terms; but to think that medical descriptions of the world seek to or are able to do this is to misunderstand the purpose and function of model construction in science in general, and medicine in particular. So, if medicalisation is nonetheless used for the depoliticization described by many critics, we must ask what society does with medicine to give it this exclusive authority. I propose that the problem arises from a tendency to mistake the map for the territory, and think a tool to understand certain aspects of the world gives us the complete picture. To resist this process, I suggest health workers should be more open about the purpose and limitations of medicalisation, and the value of alternative descriptions of different aspects of human experience.
      PubDate: Sat, 18 Feb 2017 20:30:00 +010
       
  • Out-of-Pocket and Informal Payment Before and After the Health
           Transformation Plan in Iran: ...

    • Abstract: BackgroundOne of the objectives of the health transformation plan (HTP) in Iran is to reduce out-of-pocket (OOP) payments for inpatient services and eradicate informal payments. The HTP has three phases: the first phase (launched in May 5, 2014) is focused on reducing OOP payments for inpatient services; the second phase (launched in May 22, 2014) is focused on primary healthcare (PHC) and the third phase utilizes an updated relative value units for health services (launched in September 29, 2014) and is focused on the elimination of informal payments. This aim of this study was to determine the OOP payments and the frequency of informal cash payments to physicians for inpatient services before and after the HTP in Kurdistan province, Iran. MethodsThis quasi-experimental study used multistage sampling method to select and evaluate 265 patients discharged from hospitals in Kurdistan province. The study covered 3 phases (before the HTP, after the first, and third phases of the HTP). Part of the data was collected using a hospital information system form and the rest were collected using a questionnaire. Data were analyzed using Fisher exact test, logistic regression, and independent samples ttest. ResultsThe mean OOP payments before the HTP and after the first and third phases, respectively, were US$59.4, US$17.6, and US$14.3 in hospital affiliated to the Ministry of Health and Medical Education (MoHME), US$39.6, US$33.7, and US$13.7 in hospitals affiliated to Social Security Organization (SSO), and US$153.3, US$188.7, and US$66.4 in private hospitals. In hospitals affiliated to SSO and MoHME there was a significant difference between the mean OOP payments before the HTP and after the third phase (P < .05). The percentage of informal payments to physicians in hospitals affiliated to MoHME, SSO, and private sector, respectively, were 4.5%, 8.1%, and 12.5% before the HTP, and 0.0%, 7.1%, and 10.0% after the first phase. Contrary to the time before the HTP, no informal payment was reported after the third phase. ConclusionIt seems that the implementation of the HTP has reduced the OOP payments for inpatient services and eradicated informal payments to physician in Kurdistan province.
      PubDate: Fri, 10 Feb 2017 20:30:00 +010
       
  • A Process Evaluation to Assess Contextual Factors Associated With the
           Uptake of a Rapid ...

    • Abstract: BackgroundAlthough proven feasible, rapid response services (RRSs) to support urgent decision and policymaking are still a fairly new and innovative strategy in several health systems, more especially in low-income countries. There are several information gaps about these RRSs that exist including the factors that make them work in different contexts and in addition what affects their uptake by potential end users.  MethodsWe used a case study employing process evaluation methods to determine what contextual factors affect the utilization of a RRS in Uganda. We held in-depth interviews with researchers, knowledge translation (KT) specialists and policy-makers from several research and policy-making institutions in Uganda’s health sector. We analyzed the data using thematic analysis to develop categories and themes about activities and structures under given program components that affected uptake of the service. ResultsWe identified several factors under three themes that have both overlapping relations and also reinforcing loops amplifying each other: Internal factors (those factors that were identified as over which the RRS had full [or almost full] control); external factors (factors over which the service had only partial influence, a second party holds part of this influence); and environmental factors (factors over which the service had no or only remote control if at all). Internal factors were the design of the service and resources available for it, while the external factors were the service’s visibility, integrity and relationships. Environmental factors were political will and health system policy and decision-making infrastructure.  ConclusionFor health systems practitioners considering RRSs, knowing what factors will affect uptake and therefore modifying them within their contexts is important to ensure efficient use and successful utilization of the mechanisms.
      PubDate: Fri, 03 Feb 2017 20:30:00 +010
       
  • Factors Associated With Unhealthy Snacks Consumption Among Adolescents in
           Iran’s Schools

    • Abstract: BackgroundWell-informed interventions are needed if school-based health promotion is to be effective. Amongother aims, the Iranian Health Promoting School (IHPS) program that was launched in 2011, has an important aimof promoting dietary behaviors of adolescents. The present study, therefore, aimed to investigate the factors affectingunhealthy snacking of adolescents and provide evidence for a more effective IHPS program. MethodsIn a cross-sectional study design, 1320 students from 40 schools in Kerman city were selected using aproportional stratified random sampling method. A modified qualitative Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ) wasused to gather data about unhealthy snacking behavior. Data about intrapersonal and environmental factors wereobtained using a validated and reliable questionnaire. A mixed-effects negative-binomial regression model was usedto analyze the data. ResultsTaste and sensory perception (prevalence rate ratio [PRR] = 1.18; 95% CI: 1.09-1.27), being a male (PRR = 1.20;95% CI: 1.05-1.38) and lower nutritional knowledge (PRR = 0.96; 95% CI: 0.91-0.99) were associated with higher weeklyunhealthy snaking. Perceived self-efficacy (PRR = 0.95; 95% CI: 0.91-1.00) negatively influenced the frequency ofunhealthy snaking, with this approaching significance (P< .06). In case of environmental factors, high socio-economicstatus (SES) level (PRR = 1.45; 95% CI: 1.26-1.67), single-parent family (PRR = 1.14; 95% CI: 1.01-1.30), more socialnorms pressure (PRR = 1.08; 95% CI: 1.01-1.17), pocket money allowance (PRR = 1.21; 95% CI: 1.09-1.34), easyaccessibility (PRR = 1.06; 95% CI:1.01-1.11), and less perceived parental control (PRR= 0.96; 95% CI: 0.92-0.99) all hada role in higher consumption of unhealthy snacks. Interestingly, larger school size was associated with less unhealthysnacking (PRR = 0.79; 95% CI: 0.68-0.92). ConclusionUnhealthy snacking behavior is influenced by individual, socio-cultural and physical-environmentalinfluences, namely by factors relating to poor parenting practices, high SES level, family characteristics, improper socialnorms pressure, and less knowledge and self-efficacy of students. This evidence can be used to inform a more evidencebased IHPS program through focusing on supportive strategies at the home, school, and local community levels.
      PubDate: Sat, 28 Jan 2017 20:30:00 +010
       
  • Providing Value to New Health Technology: The Early Contribution of
           Entrepreneurs, Investors, ...

    • Abstract: BackgroundNew technologies constitute an important cost-driver in healthcare, but the dynamics that lead to their emergence remains poorly understood from a health policy standpoint. The goal of this paper is to clarify how entrepreneurs, investors, and regulatory agencies influence the value of emerging health technologies.  MethodsOur 5-year qualitative research program examined the processes through which new health technologies were envisioned, financed, developed and commercialized by entrepreneurial clinical teams operating in Quebec’s (Canada) publicly funded healthcare system. ResultsEntrepreneurs have a direct influence over a new technology’s value proposition, but investors actively transform this value. Investors support a technology that can find a market, no matter its intrinsic value for clinical practice or healthcare systems. Regulatory agencies reinforce the “double” value of a new technology —as a health intervention and as an economic commodity— and provide economic worth to the venture that is bringing the technology to market.  ConclusionPolicy-oriented initiatives such as early health technology assessment (HTA) and coverage with evidence may provide technology developers with useful input regarding the decisions they make at an early stage. But to foster technologies that bring more value to healthcare systems, policy-makers must actively support the consideration of health policy issues in innovation policy.
      PubDate: Tue, 24 Jan 2017 20:30:00 +010
       
  • Peruvian Mental Health Reform: A Framework for Scaling-up Mental Health
           Services

    • Abstract: Background Mental, neurological, and substance (MNS) use disorders are a leading cause of disability worldwide; specifically in Peru, MNS affect 1 in 5 persons. However, the great majority of people suffering from these disorders do not access care, thereby making necessary the improvement of existing conditions including a major rearranging of current health system structures beyond care delivery strategies. This paper reviews and examines recent developments in mental health policies in Peru, presenting an overview of the initiatives currently being introduced and the main implementation challenges they face.   Methods Key documents issued by Peruvian governmental entities regarding mental health were reviewed to identify and describe the path that led to the beginning of the reform; how the ongoing reform is taking place; and, the plan and scope for scale-up.   Results Since 2004, mental health has gained importance in policies and regulations, resulting in the promotion of a mental health reform within the national healthcare system. These efforts crystallized in 2012 with the passing of Law 29889 which introduced several changes to the delivery of mental healthcare, including a restructuring of mental health service delivery to occur at the primary and secondary care levels and the introduction of supporting services to aid in patient recovery and reintegration into society. In addition, a performance-based budget was approved to guarantee the implementation of these changes. Some of the main challenges faced by this reform are related to the diversity of the implementation settings, eg, isolated rural areas, and the limitations of the existing specialized mental health institutes to substantially grow in parallel to the scaling-up efforts in order to be able to provide training and clinical support to every region of Peru.   Conclusion Although the true success of the mental healthcare reform will be determined in the coming years, thus far, Peru has achieved a number of legal, policy and fiscal milestones, thereby presenting a unique and fertile environment for the expansion of mental health services.
      PubDate: Mon, 23 Jan 2017 20:30:00 +010
       
  • Priority Setting for Universal Health Coverage: We Need to Focus Both on
           Substance and on ...

    • Abstract: In an editorial published in this journal, Baltussen et al argue that information on cost-effectiveness is not sufficient for priority setting for universal health coverage (UHC), a claim which is correct as far as it goes. However, their focus on the procedural legitimacy of ‘micro’ priority setting processes (eg, decisions concerning the reimbursement of specific interventions), and their related assumption that values for priority setting are determined only at this level, leads them to ignore the relevance of higher level, ‘macro’ priority setting processes, for example, consultations held by World Health Organization (WHO) Member States and other global stakeholders that have resulted in widespread consensus on the principles of UHC. Priority setting is not merely about discrete choices, nor should the focus be exclusively (or even mainly) on improving the procedural elements of micro priority setting processes. Systemic activities that shape the health system environment, such as strategic planning, as well as the substantive content of global policy instruments, are critical elements for priority setting for UHC.
      PubDate: Sat, 21 Jan 2017 20:30:00 +010
       
  • Framing Political Change: Can a Left Populism Disrupt the Rise of the
           Reactionary Right?; ...

    • Abstract: Solomon Benatar offers an important critique of the limited frame that sets the boundaries of much of what is referred to as ‘global health.’ In placing his comments within a criticism of increasing poverty (or certainly income and wealth inequalities) and the decline in our environmental commons, he locates our health inequities within the pathology of our present global economy. In that respect it is a companion piece to an editorial I published around the same time. Both Benatar’s and my paralleling arguments take on a new urgency in the wake of the US presidential election. Although not a uniquely American event (the xenophobic right has been making inroads in many parts of the world), the degree of vitriol expressed by the President-elect of the world’s (still) most powerful and militarized country is being used to further legitimate the policies of right-extremist parties in Europe while providing additional justification for the increasingly autocratic politics of leaders (elected or otherwise) in many other of the world’s nations. To challenge right-populism’s rejection of the predatory inequalities that 4 years of (neo)-liberal globalization have created demands strong and sustained left populism built, in part, on the ecocentric frame advocated by Benatar.
      PubDate: Mon, 16 Jan 2017 20:30:00 +010
       
  • Don’t Discount Societal Value in Cost-Effectiveness; Comment on
           “Priority Setting for ...

    • Abstract: As healthcare resources become increasingly scarce due to growing demand and stagnating budgets, the need for effective priority setting and resource allocation will become ever more critical to providing sustainable care to patients. While societal values should certainly play a part in guiding these processes, the methodology used to capture these values need not necessarily be limited to multi-criterion decision analysis (MCDA)-based processes including ‘evidence-informed deliberative processes.’ However, if decision-makers intend to not only incorporates the values of the public they serve into decisions but have the decisions enacted as well, consideration should be given to more direct involvement of stakeholders. Based on the examples provided by Baltussen et al, MCDA-based processes like ‘evidence-informed deliberative processes’ could be one way of achieving this laudable goal.
      PubDate: Fri, 13 Jan 2017 20:30:00 +010
       
  • A Qualitative Assessment of the Evidence Utilization for Health
           Policy-Making on the Basis of ...

    • Abstract: BackgroundSUPPORT tools consist of 18 articles addressing the health policy-makers so that they can learn how to make evidence-informed health policies. These tools have been particularly recommended for developing countries. The present study tries to explain the process of evidence utilization for developing policy documents in the Iranian Ministry of Health and Medical Education (MoHME) and to compare the findings with those of SUPPORT tools.  MethodsA qualitative research was conducted, using the framework analysis approach. Participants consisted of senior managers and technicians in MoHME. Purposeful sampling was done, with a maximum variety, for the selection of research participants: individuals having at least 5 years of experience in preparing evidence-based policy documents. Face-to-face interviews were conducted for data collection. As a guideline for the interviews, ‘the Utilization of Evidence in Policy Making Organizations’ procedure was used. The data were analyzed through the analysis of the framework method using MAXQDA 10 software.  ResultsThe participants acquired the research evidence in a topic-based form, and they were less likely to search on the basis of the evidence pyramid. To assess the quality of evidence, they did not use standard critical tools; to adapt the evidence and interventions with the local setting, they did not use the ideas and experiences of all stakeholders, and in preparing the evidence-based policy documents, they did not take into consideration the window of opportunity, did not refrain from using highly technical terms, did not write user-friendly summaries, and did not present alternative policy options. In order to develop health policies, however, they used the following innovations: attention to the financial burden of policy issues on the agenda, sensitivity analysis of the preferred policy option on the basis of technical, sociopolitical, and economic feasibility, advocacy from other scholars, using the multi-criteria decisionmaking models for the prioritization of policy options, implementation of policy based on the degree of readiness of policy-implementing units, and the classification of policy documents on the basis of different conditions of policymaking (urgent, short-term, and long-term). ConclusionFindings showed that the process of evidence utilization in IR-MoH enjoys some innovations for the support of health policy development. The present study provides IR-MoH with considerable opportunities for the improvement of evidence-informed health policy-making. Moreover, the SUPPORT process and tools are recommended to be used in developing countries.
      PubDate: Sat, 07 Jan 2017 20:30:00 +010
       
  • Critical Global Health: Responding to Poverty, Inequality and Climate
           Change; Comment on ...

    • Abstract: A recent article by Sol Benatar calls on the global health community to reassess its approach to twin crises of global poverty and climate change. I build on his article by challenging mainstream narratives that claim satisfactory progress in efforts to reduce poverty and improve health for all, and arguing that any eradication of poverty that is consistent with environmental sustainability will require a more explicit emphasis on the redistribution of power and wealth. I suggest that the global health community has been largely socialised into accepting that progress and future solutions can be attained through more neoliberal development, technological advancement and philanthropic endeavour and that a more critical global health is required. I propose three steps that the global health community should take: first, create more space for the social, political and political sciences within global health; second, be more prepared to act politically and challenge power; and third, do more to bridge the global-local divide in recognition of the fact that progressive change requires mobilisation from the bottom-up in conjunction with top-down policy and legislative change.
      PubDate: Mon, 02 Jan 2017 20:30:00 +010
       
  • Clinician Perspectives of Barriers to Effective Implementation of a Rapid
           Response System in an ...

    • Abstract: BackgroundSystemic and structural issues of rapid response system (RRS) models can hinder implementation. This study sought to understand the ways in which acute care clinicians (physicians and nurses) experience and negotiate care for deteriorating patients within the RRS.  MethodsPhysicians and nurses working within an Australian academic health centre within a jurisdictional-based model of clinical governance participated in focus group interviews. Verbatim transcripts were analysed using thematic content analysis. ResultsThirty-four participants (21 physicians and 13 registered nurses [RNs]) participated in six focus groups over five weeks in 2014. Implementing the RRS in daily practice was a process of informal communication and negotiation in spite of standardised protocols. Themes highlighted several systems or organisational-level barriers to an effective RRS, including (1) responsibility is inversely proportional to clinical experience; (2) actions around system flexibility contribute to deviation from protocol; (3) misdistribution of resources leads to perceptions of inadequate staffing levels inhibiting full optimisation of the RRS; and (4) poor communication and documentation of RRS increases clinician workloads.  ConclusionImplementing a RRS is complex and multifactorial, influenced by various inter- and intra-professional factors, staffing models and organisational culture. The RRS is not a static model; it is both reflexive and iterative, perpetually transforming to meet healthcare consumer and provider demands and local unit contexts and needs. Requiring more than just a strong initial implementation phase, new models of care such as a RRS demand good governance processes, ongoing support and regular evaluation and refinement. Cultural, organizational and professional factors, as well as systems-based processes, require consideration if RRSs are to achieve their intended outcomes in dynamic healthcare settings.
      PubDate: Sat, 31 Dec 2016 20:30:00 +010
       
  • Thinking Out of the Box: A Green and Social Climate Fund; Comment on
           “Politics, Power, ...

    • Abstract: Solomon Benatar’s paper “Politics, Power, Poverty and Global Health: Systems and Frames” examines the inequitable state of global health challenging readers to extend the discourse on global health beyond conventional boundaries by addressing the interconnectedness of planetary life. Our response explores existing models of international cooperation, assessing how modifying them may achieve the twin goals of ensuring healthy people and planet. First, we address why the inequality reducing post World War II European welfare model, if implemented stateby-state, is unfit for reducing global inequality and respecting environmental boundaries. Second, we argue that to advance beyond the ‘Westphalian,’ human centric thinking integral to global inequality and climate change requires challenging the logic of global economic integration and exploring the politically infeasible. In conclusion, we propose social policy focused changes to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and a Green and Social Climate Fund, financed by new global greenhouse gas charges, both of which could advance human and planetary health. Recent global political developments may offer a small window of opportunity for out of the box proposals that could be advanced by concerted and united advocacy by global health activists, environmental activists, human rights activists, and trade unions.
      PubDate: Tue, 27 Dec 2016 20:30:00 +010
       
  • Collaboration Between Researchers and Knowledge Users in Health Technology
           Assessment: A ...

    • Abstract: BackgroundCollaboration between researchers and knowledge users is increasingly promoted because it could enhance more evidence-based decision-making and practice. These complex relationships differ in form, in the particular goals they are trying to achieve, and in whom they bring together. Although much is understood about why partnerships form, relatively little is known about how collaboration works: how the collaborative process is shaped through the partners’ interactions, especially in the field of health technology assessment (HTA)? This study aims at addressing this gap in the literature in the specific context of HTA. MethodsWe used a qualitative descriptive design for this exploratory study. Semi-structured interviews with three researchers and two decision-makers were conducted on the practices related to the collaboration. We also performed document analysis, observation of five team meetings, and informal discussion with the participants. We thematically analyzed data using the structuration theory and a collective impact (CI) framework. ResultsThis study showed that three main contextual factors helped shape the collaboration between researchers and knowledge users: the use of concepts related to each field; the use of related expertise; and a lack of clearly defined roles in the project. Previous experiences with the topic of the research project and a partnership based on “a give and take” relationship emerged as factors of success of this collaboration. ConclusionBy shedding light on the structuration of the collaboration between researchers and knowledge users, our findings open the door to a poorly documented field in the area of HTA, and additional studies that build on these early observations are welcome.
      PubDate: Fri, 23 Dec 2016 20:30:00 +010
       
  • Global Health in the Anthropocene: Moving Beyond Resilience and
           Capitalism; Comment on ...

    • Abstract: There has been much reflection on the need for a new understanding of global health and the urgency of a paradigm shift to address global health issues. A crucial question is whether this is still possible in current modes of global governance based on capitalist values. Four reflections are provided. (1) Ecological–centered values must become central in any future global health framework. (2) The objectives of ‘sustainability’ and ‘economic growth’ present a profound contradiction. (3) The resilience discourse maintains a gridlock in the functioning of the global health system. (4) The legitimacy of multi-stakeholder governance arrangements in global health requires urgent attention. A dual track approach is suggested. It must be aimed to transform capitalism into something better for global health while in parallel there is an urgent need to imagine a future and pathways to a different world order rooted in the principles of social justice, protecting the commons and a central role for the preservation of ecology.
      PubDate: Fri, 23 Dec 2016 20:30:00 +010
       
  • Understanding Internal Accountability in Nigeria’s Routine Immunization
           System: Perspectives ...

    • Abstract: BackgroundRoutine immunization coverage in Nigeria has remained low, and studies have identified a lack of accountability as a barrier to high performance in the immunization system. Accountability lies at the heart of various health systems strengthening efforts recently launched in Nigeria, including those related to immunization. Our aim was to understand the views of health officials on the accountability challenges hindering immunization service delivery at various levels of government.  MethodsA semi-structured questionnaire was used to interview immunization and primary healthcare (PHC) officials from national, state, local, and health facility levels in Niger State in north central Nigeria. Individuals were selected to represent a range of roles and responsibilities in the immunization system. The questionnaire explored concepts related to internal accountability using a framework that organizes accountability into three axes based upon how they drive change in the health system.  ResultsRespondents highlighted accountability challenges across multiple components of the immunization system, including vaccine availability, financing, logistics, human resources, and data management. A major focus was the lack of clear roles and responsibilities both within institutions and between levels of government. Delays in funding, especially at lower levels of government, disrupted service delivery. Supervision occurred less frequently than necessary, and the limited decision space of managers prevented problems from being resolved. Motivation was affected by the inability of officials to fulfill their responsibilities. Officials posited numerous suggestions to improve accountability, including clarifying roles and responsibilities, ensuring timely release of funding, and formalizing processes for supervision, problem solving, and data reporting.  ConclusionWeak accountability presents a significant barrier to performance of the routine immunization system and high immunization coverage in Nigeria. As one stakeholder in ensuring the performance of health systems, routine immunization officials reveal critical areas that need to be prioritized if emerging interventions to improve accountability in routine immunization are to have an effect.
      PubDate: Fri, 09 Dec 2016 20:30:00 +010
       
  • The Elephants in the Room: Sex, HIV, and LGBT Populations in MENA. ...

    • Abstract: In response to this insightful editorial, we wish to provide commentary that seeks to highlight recent successes and illuminate the often unspoken hurdles at the intersections of culture, politics, and taboo. We focus on sexual transmission and draw examples from Lebanon, where the pursuit of data in quality and quantity is teaching us lessons about the way forward and where we are experiencing many of the challenges referenced in the editorial such as discrepancies between national statistics and rates derived via research as well as the impact of protracted political conflict and displacement. Two important points were raised in the editorial about HIV in Middle East and North Africa (MENA) that we would like to expand further: (1) The epidemic is largely driven by drug-related and sexual behavior among key populations; and (2) Several key populations continue to be criminalized and excluded from surveillance programs.
      PubDate: Sat, 03 Dec 2016 20:30:00 +010
       
  • Evidence-Informed Deliberative Processes for Universal Health Coverage:
           Broadening the Scope; ...

    • Abstract: Universal health coverage (UHC) is high on the global health agenda, and priority setting is fundamental to the fair and efficient pursuit of this goal. In a recent editorial, Rob Baltussen and colleagues point to the need to go beyond evidence on cost-effectiveness and call for evidence-informed deliberative processes when setting priorities for UHC. Such processes are crucial at every step on the path to UHC, and hopefully we will see intensified efforts to develop and implement processes of this kind in the coming years. However, if this does happen, it will be essential to ensure a sufficiently broad scope in at least two respects. First, the design of evidence-informed priority-setting processes needs to go beyond a simple view on the relationship between evidence and policy and adapt to a diverse set of factors shaping this relationship. Second, these processes should go beyond a focus on clinical services to accommodate also public health interventions. Together, this can help strengthen priority-setting processes and bolster progress towards UHC and the Sustainable Development Goals.
      PubDate: Sat, 26 Nov 2016 20:30:00 +010
       
  • Impact of Health Research Systems on Under-5 Mortality Rate: A Trend
           Analysis

    • Abstract: Background Between 1990 and 2015, under-5 mortality rate (U5MR) declined by 53%, from an estimated rate of 91 deaths per 1000 live births to 43, globally. The aim of this study was to determine the share of health research systems in this decrease alongside other influential factors.   Methods We used random effect regression models including the ‘random intercept’ and ‘random intercept and random slope’ models to analyze the panel data from 1990 to 2010. We selected the countries with U5MRs falling between the first and third quartiles in 1990. We used both the total articles (TA) and the number of child-specific articles (CSA) as a proxy of the health research system. In order to account for the impact of other factors, measles vaccination coverage (MVC) (as a proxy of health system performance), gross domestic product (GDP), human development index (HDI), and corruption perception index (CPI) (as proxies of development), were embedded in the model.   Results Among all the models, ‘the random intercept and random slope models’ had lower residuals. The same variables of CSA, HDI, and time were significant and the coefficient of CSA was estimated at -0.17; meaning, with the addition of every 100 CSA, the rate of U5MR decreased by 17 per 1000 live births.   Conclusion Although the number of CSA has contributed to the reduction of U5MR, the amount of its contribution is negligible compared to the countries’ development. We recommend entering different types of researches into the model separately in future research andincluding the variable of ‘exchange between knowledge generator and user.’
      PubDate: Fri, 25 Nov 2016 20:30:00 +010
       
  • Just Say No to the TPP: A Democratic Setback for American and Asian Public
           Health; Comment on ...

    • Abstract: The article by Labonté, Schram, and Ruckert is a significant and timely analysis of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) policy and the severe threats to public health that it implies for 12 Pacific Rim populations from the Americas and Asia (Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States, and Vietnam). With careful and analytic precision the authors convincingly unearth many aspects of this piece of legislation that undermine the public health achievements of most countries involved in the TTP. Our comments complement their policy analysis with the aim of providing a positive heuristic tool to assist in the understanding of the TPP, and other upcoming treaties like the even more encompassing Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and in so doing motivate the public health community to oppose the implementation of the relevant provisions of the agreements. The aims of this commentary on the study of Labonté et al are to show that an understanding of the health effects of the TPP is incomplete without a political analysis of policy formation, and that realist methods can be useful to uncover the mechanisms underlying TPP’s political and policy processes.
      PubDate: Sat, 05 Nov 2016 20:30:00 +010
       
  • Forced Migration and Global Responsibility for Health; Comment on
           “Defining and Acting on ...

    • Abstract: Forced migration has become a world-wide phenomenon in the past century, affecting increasing numbers of countries and people. It entails important challenges from a global health perspective. Leppold et al have critically discussed the Japanese interpretation of global responsibility for health in the context of forced migration. This commentary complements their analysis by outlining three priority areas of global health responsibility for European Union (EU) countries. We highlight important stages of the migration phases related to forced migration and propose three arguments. First, the chronic neglect of the large number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the discourses on the “refugee crisis” needs to be corrected in order to develop sustainable solutions with a framework of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Second, protection gaps in the global system of protection need to be effectively closed to resolve conflicts with border management and normative global health frameworks. Third, effective policies need to be developed and implemented to meet the health and humanitarian needs of forced migrants; at the same time, the solidarity crisis within the EU needs to be overcome. These stakes are high. EU countries, being committed to global health, should urgently address these areas.
      PubDate: Fri, 04 Nov 2016 20:30:00 +010
       
  • Labonté Identifies Key Issues for Health Promoters in the New World
           Order; Comment on ...

    • Abstract: For over 35 years Ronald Labonté has been critically analyzing the state of health promotion in Canada and the world. In 1981, he identified the shortcomings of the groundbreaking Lalonde Report by warning of the seductive appeal of so-called lifestyle approaches to health. Since then, he has left a trail of critical work identifying the barriers to — and opportunities for —health promotion work. More recently, he has shown how the rise of economic globalization and acceptance of neo-liberal ideology has come to threaten the health of those in both developed and developing nations. In his recent commentary, Labonté shows how the United Nations’ 2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can offer a new direction for health promoters in these difficult times.
      PubDate: Tue, 01 Nov 2016 20:30:00 +010
       
  • Cost-Effectiveness of Rural Incentive Packages for Graduating Medical
           Students in Lao PDR

    • Abstract: Background The dearth of health workers in rural settings in Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) and other developing countries limits healthcare access and outcomes. In evaluating non-wage financial incentive packages as a potential policy option to attract health workers to rural settings, understanding the expected costs and effects of the various programs ex antecan assist policy-makers in selecting the optimal incentive package.   Methods We use discrete choice experiments (DCEs), costing analyses and recent empirical results linking health worker density and health outcomes to estimate the future location decisions of physicians and determine the costeffectiveness of 15 voluntary incentives packages for new physicians in Lao PDR. Our data sources include a DCE survey completed by medical students (n = 329) in May 2011 and secondary cost, economic and health data. Mixed logit regressions provide the basis for estimating how each incentive package influences rural versus urban location choice over time. We estimate the expected rural density of physicians and the cost-effectiveness of 15 separate incentive packages from a societal perspective. In order to generate the cost-effectiveness ratios we relied on the rural uptake probabilities inferred from the DCEs, the costing data and prior World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that relate health outcomes to health worker density.   Results Relative to no program, the optimal voluntary incentive package would increase rural physician density by 15% by 2016 and 65% by 2041. After incorporating anticipated health effects, seven (three) of the 15 incentive packages have anticipated average cost-effectiveness ratio less than the WHO threshold (three times gross domestic product [GDP] per capita) over a 5-year (30 year) period. The optimal package’s incremental cost-effectiveness ratio is $1454/QALY (quality-adjusted life year) over 5 years and $2380/QALY over 30 years. Capital intensive components, such as housing or facility improvement, are not efficient.   Conclusion Conditional on using voluntary incentives, Lao PDR should emphasize non-capital intensive options such as advanced career promotion, transport subsidies and housing allowances to improve physician distribution and rural health outcomes in a cost-effective manner. Other countries considering voluntary incentive programs can implement health worker/trainee DCEs and costing surveys to determine which incentive bundles improve rural uptake most efficiently but should be aware of methodological caveats.
      PubDate: Fri, 28 Oct 2016 20:30:00 +010
       
 
 
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