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Rationalising chances of success in intersectoral health policy making


OBJECTIVE It is generally accepted that a wide range of factors determine the health of a population, many of which are beyond the remit of the Ministry of Health. The aim of intersectoral health policy is to influence these factors. Success depends on a multi-stage process. This paper aims to provide support for the first stage of this process in the form of a quick scan for appraising the feasibility of intersectoral health policy.

DESIGN The content of the quick scan for intersectoral health policy was derived from a literature review. To determine the usefulness of this quick scan, the study looked at two examples in the policy sectors of education and safety.

MAIN RESULTS The quick scan distinguishes between three factors: (1) the availability of evidence, (2) the degree of support, and (3) the availability of tools for implementation. The quick scan made it possible to review the two policy sectors systematically in a relatively short time and to obtain sufficient information for priority setting in intersectoral health policy. The examples in this paper suggest that intersectoral health policy for community safety is more feasible than intersectoral policy for psychosocial problems in secondary education. However, specific information is required for a more precise assessment of feasibility.

CONCLUSIONS There are many ways of improving health through intersectoral health policy. The proposed quick scan may provide systematic support for setting priorities before developing policies of this kind.

  • intersectoral health policy
  • priority setting

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