In assignment one, you critically analysed a health issue. Many of these health issues are
politically contentious and involve ethical and moral questions and dilemmas. This means
that deciding on the best way to approach and respond to these health issues is not
always clear. Social and health policy is one of the most common ways that governments
gui de t he approach of organisations and health care professionals in responding to
parti cul ar healt h issues and problems. Even if you are not aware of it , social and health
policy impacts on and shapes the nursing profession as well as the contexts within which
nurses practice. It i s imperati ve t herefo re t hat nurses have some understandi ng o f how
poli cy is used to gui de t he contexts and practices of health care.
This assignment requires you to analyse a health policy document from a socio-political
perspective. Your analysis should address the following
� What is the main health area of the policy? (e .g . mental health, women’s health, etc.)
� Who are t he st akeholders in the policy? (e.g. t hese are t he people t hat have a st ake
in deali ng wit h t he problem, e.g. nurses, children, bio-ethicists, people living in
poverty, the disabled, etc.�you may identi fy stakeholders that are not mentioned in
the policy).page 8
� What is the desired outcome/e ffect of the policy? Why is it important that the health
i ssue be resol ved o r improved?
� What perspective does the policy take in relation to the structure-agency continuum?
(i.e. does t he policy focus more on the structures of society (class, gender, race,
ethnicity, disability, rurality) or on the actions of individuals and particular groups?)
� What perspective does the policy take in relation to the illness/wellness continuum?
(i.e. does it focus more on the treatment of the illness/problem or on the creation of
wellness through prevention and early intervention?)
� What do you think the priority areas should be to e ffectively respond to the health
i ssue/problem described in the policy? Do you think the policy acknowledges and
i ncl udes t hese prio rit y areas? Pl ease provide evidence for your answer.
� How does the policy promote participatory care within the normal social contexts of
individuals and communities?
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