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African Nova Scotian Health Resource

Health Policy - Definition

Health Policy - are the decisions, plans, and actions that are undertaken to achieve specific health care goals within a society. An explicit health policy can achieve several things:

  • it defines a vision for the future which in turn helps to establish targets and points of reference for the short and medium term.
  • It outlines priorities and the expected roles of different groups
  • It builds consensus and informs people. (Source: World Health Organization)

Policy vs. Procedure

           Policy                                                              Procedure

  • Is broad and visionary
  • Sets direction
  • Expresses standards and expectations to guide actions
  • States a position of intended outcomes
  • Is a statement of principle
  • Is an instruction or process for applying a policy decision
  • Interprets policy and defines activities that must be carried out in order to implement the directions and goals set by policies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(This material was adapted from University of MAryland's project SHARE: Module VI)

5 Steps to Policy Development

We give credit to the University of Maryland’s Project SHARE for the content of this slideshow which can be found here: https://bit.ly/2K4Mx9Y. It is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Questions to Consider

Imagine yourself as a school administrator of a high school. Part of your job is setting school health policies.

(This material was adapted from University of MAryland's project SHARE: Module VI. It is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.)

How would you decide what policies should be set?

  • Look for problems that students, teachers, and/or other faculty and staff members face in school that might jeopardize their health.

  • Look for conditions that might be considered hazardous or dangerous to health.

  • Look for new developments in health care and health policy that might be applied to the school and improve health/conditions for students, teachers, and/or other faculty and staff.

 

How would you know if your school health policies were working?

  • Measure the intended result of the policy. For example, if a policy were designed to promote handwashing, you could measure the number of students who washed their hands before lunch both before the implementation of the policy and after the policy was enacted.

 

  • Ask those affected by the policy how well they think the policy is working. Ask whether the policy has increased their knowledge, affected their attitude, and/or changed their behavior.

 

  • Investigate any unintended consequences from the implementation of the policy.

 

What questions would you ask to find out?

  • How has this policy affected you and/or other members of the school’s community?

  • Has this policy affected your knowledge about this health issue?

  • Has this policy affected your attitude about this health issue?

  • Has this policy affected your behavior in regards to this health issue?

  • Have you noticed any effects of this policy that were not intended?