Health Systems and Policy

  • Jason Goh
  • Erwin Loh


There is no perfect health system. As societies change, health systems and policies evolve to adapt to the health needs of the society. The health needs of a society are often subjective and shaped by the social and political environment, so too are the health policies made to respond to these needs. As the outcome goals of these needs may be both convergent and divergent, health systems become more and more complex as new health policies are introduced into the existing health system.

Regardless of which sector within a health system you work as a medical administrator, you will find yourself in a position to influence health system and policy reform. It is important to develop a framework to understanding these complex connections within health systems to be able to effectively assist your clinicians with navigating through these systems to achieve the optimal results.

This chapter describes health systems according to its inputs, processes, outputs and outcomes. It also describes the economic and sociopolitical characteristics of a health system, using the Australian health system as an example. Some key concepts of analysing a health system are also described. In the second part of this chapter, some concepts on governing a health system and health policymaking are described. The chapter concludes with some discussion around health policy challenges for medical administrators.


Health systems Health system policy Health system processes Australian health system Workforce of a health system Policymaking in the health system Analysing health system performance 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear HospitalEast MelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.St Vincent’s Health Australia,Clinical Professor, Monash UniversityEast MelbourneAustralia

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