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International Health and Aid Policies
The Need for Alternatives


  • Date Published: September 2010
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521174268

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About the Authors
  • International health and aid policies of the past two decades have had a major impact on the delivery of care in low and middle-income countries. This book argues that these policies have often failed to achieve their main aims, and have in fact contributed to restricted access to family medicine and hospital care. Presenting detailed evidence, and illustrated by case studies, this book describes how international health policies to date have largely resulted in expensive health care for the rich, and disjointed and ineffective services for the poor. As a result, large segments of the population world-wide continue to suffer from unnecessary casualties, pain and impoverishment. International Health and Aid Policies arms health professionals, researchers and policy makers with strategies that will enable them to bridge the gaps between public health, medicine and health policy in order to support robust, comprehensive and accessible health care systems in any political environment.

    • Proposes clear principles for the basis of socially-motivated health care delivery, management and policy
    • Describes a framework for designing health care delivery organisations
    • Outlines strategies for action by any healthcare professional and in virtually any political environment
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'International Health and Aid Policies: The Need for Alternatives represents an important and comprehensive effort in gathering the evidence of the grave consequences on developing countries' health systems of some international health and aid policies that promote excessive reliance on disease specific programs and commercialised care. The book proposes alternative policy scenarios … and highlights the key role of health system researchers in influencing the development of pro-equity international health policies and the evaluation of their impact. The thorough review of historic data and trend analysis will serve scholars and decision makers alike.' Mirta Roses, Pan American Health Organization, Regional Office of the World Health Organization

    'Timing is everything in comedy and in scholarship. One cannot imagine a better timing for this book's publication. The title of the book promises to make a call for health services with a clear social mission; and this it fully delivers. Here is a book that paves the way in a direction using the right political analyses. It tells us that it has been donors who have pushed the patterns of commercialisation of health in poor countries; and that aid policies share a large responsibility for the breakdown of the health systems of many of the poor countries we currently see. It highlights the contradictions of public provision under the guise of commercialised health care looking at two decades of neoliberal policy that has systematically undermined access to quality health care services for a majority of the world population. This, it rightly claims, receives far too little attention in the literature. The book is clear about the need for a policy shift that re-establishes the right to access to quality healthcare. It proposes a health policy based on a political philosophy in an attempt to reconcile professional, cultural and political ethics. It clearly states that health policy is political in the sense that it refers to actions (deeds) meant to challenge the structures of power and social organisation from an ethical perspective. For all these reasons, the People's Health Movement feels the principles of its People's Charter for Health are here represented; our worldwide membership would want to read it.' Bridget Lloyd, People's Health Movement Co-ordinating Commission

    'This important book challenges the dominant discourse on global health and the growing commoditization of health care to the detriment of poor people all over the world. The serious and evidence-based questions and facts raised by the authors on the relentless promotion of private sector growth in health must now be answered.' Anna Marriott, Development Finance and Public Services Team, Oxfam GB

    'This book comes at a time of a highly needed reform in the Global Health Governance and the International Health Aid Architecture. The attention to health has been enhanced in global fora and health aid has tripled in the last decade. We all share responsibility and the challenge to address the highly fragmented health landscape. The EU is developing a new policy framework aimed at greater equity and coherence in the EU role in Global Health. The agreed global commitment to universal coverage rescuing the Alma-Ata principles and applying the principles of partnership and ownership to health in development aid, are clear opportunities. The reflections of this book will be a valuable reference for our debate and the enhanced EU role in the global health challenges.' Juan Garay, Public Health Physician, Health Team coordinator, DG Development, European Commission

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2010
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521174268
    • length: 314 pages
    • dimensions: 231 x 155 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.54kg
    • contains: 5 b/w illus. 20 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: overview and purpose
    Part I. Aspects of International Health Policies:
    1. Donor led policies: analysis of an underlying doctrine
    2. The Achilles heel of international health policies in low and middle income countries
    Part II. The Failure of the Aid Paradigm: Poor Disease Control in Developing Countries:
    3. Why do disease control programs require patients in publicly-oriented services to succeed in delivering? The case of malaria control in Mali
    4. How do disease control programs damage health care delivery in developing countries?
    5. Privatization (PPM-DOTS) strategy for tuberculosis control: how evidence based is it?
    Part III. International Health Policies and their Impact on Access to Health Care in Low and Middle Income Countries: Some Recent Experiences from Latin America:
    6. Costa Rica: achievements of a heterodox health policy
    7. Colombia: in-vivo test of health sector privatization
    8. Chile's neo liberal health reforms: an assessment and a critique
    Part IV. Determinants and Implications of New Liberal Health Policies: the Case of India, China and the Lebanon:
    9. Political and economic determinants of health: the case of India
    10. An economic insight into health care in six Chinese counties: equity in crisis
    11. Health care financing and delivery in the context of conflict and crisis: the Lebanon
    Part V. Principles for Publicly-Oriented Health Care Policies, Planning, Management and Delivery:
    12. Paradigm shifts
    Section 1. The need to alter health systems missions
    Section 2. The need to change public health methods
    13. Principles for an alternative social and democratic health policy
    14. Quality standards for health care delivery and management in publicly-oriented health services
    15. Principles of publicly-oriented health planning
    16. A code of good practice for the management of disease control programs
    Part VI. Strategies to Develop Publicly-Oriented Health Systems and Services:
    17. Person-centered care in LIC/MIC publicly-oriented services
    18. Improving access
    Section 1. Access to health care (Ecuador)
    Section 2. Access to drugs (Senegal)
    19. Non-managed care techniques to improve clinical decision making
    Section 1. Versatile techniques
    Section 2. Interface flow-process audit
    20. Reorienting academic missions: how can public health departments best support access to good quality comprehensive health care?

  • Authors

    Jean-Pierre Unger, Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp
    Jean-Pierre Unger is Senior Lecturer and co-director of the MPH programme at the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium.

    Pierre De Paepe, Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp
    Pierre De Paepe is a researcher at the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium.

    Kasturi Sen, Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp
    Kasturi Sen is a social scientist at the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium.

    Werner Soors, Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp
    Werner Soors is a researcher and teacher at the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium.

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