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The national health planning cycle

There are numerous reasons that national health policy reform is complex. This video discusses what needs to be considered before change can occur.

In this video a recent review of priority-setting processes in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs) was recommended (Hipgrave et al. 2014) – the paper is provided in the reference list below for those who are able to access the full paper. The authors found that no existing formal priority-setting process could be recommended for LMICs based on evidence of effectiveness or feasibility.

They also found that frequently, contextual or system challenges strongly influenced the priority-setting process such that neither the process of planning, nor the outcomes, were satisfactory. Limited data and resources, dominance by powerful stakeholders, and conflicting priorities and overlapping responsibilities between different levels of the health system were some of the frequent reasons for planning process failures.

Have you been involved in health planning at any level in your country? What were the main obstacles to good planning you observed? Please post your response in the comments section below (remembering to mention your country).

Reference list
Hipgrave, D, Alderman, K, Anderson, I & Soto, E, 2014, ‘Health sector priority setting at meso-level in lower and middle income countries: Lessons learned, available options and suggested steps’, Social Science & Medicine, vol. 102, pp. 190-200.
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Transforming Primary Health Care through Health Systems Strengthening

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