Compliance, Community Participation and Consumerism: A Sociologist's Contribution to Health Policy Analysis
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The lecture will follow a chronological sequence as I have been researching the role that patients, communities and consumers have played in shaping health care services for over twenty years. I will be referring to three studies in particular: First, an ethnographic study of cancer treatment in a Sydney hospital, undertaken in 1982 (Short, 1985; 1986); secondly, a case study of the Illawarra Cancer Appeal-a-thon, completed in Wollongong in 1988 (Short, 1989), and thirdly, analysis of consumer activism in the health policy process. The third study was conducted over the decade of the 1990s with a focus on the genesis and development of the Consumers’ Health Forum of Australia; the national voice for health consumer organisations in Australia (Short, 1998a). This sequence is being followed with the intention of showing how a sociological understanding of patient and public participation in health care has developed and how this analysis has relevance to sociological studies in health care more broadly, as developed further in my coauthored book, Health Care and Public Policy, now in its third edition (Palmer and Short, 1989; 1994; 2000).
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