« Mary Jane and Milton | Main | "Does Canada have Dutch disease?" is a question without a meaningful answer »


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

@Steve and Livio: Thanks for a very different post. I've attended many health policy conferences over the years (less often now), and often walk away with the feeling that this is largely in-group chatter. I think the inside story on health care (understood in the conventional sense as hospitals, medical services, drugs, and large machines) is that policy has very little influence; the system has momentum(s) and incentives of its own. On the one occasion where I worked in a new clinic where policy people were closely involved, it was actually very frustrating--the need of policy experts to focus on a grand design and empirical findings does not mesh well with operational problems, the stochastics of patient behavior, and the inherent unmanageability of the healthcare system.

My other frustration is that too many conferences end up rehashing stale messages aimed at the converted, e.g.:
- Mental Health: we must end stigma, mental health is underfunded
- Women's health: we must end sexism, breast cancer is awful
- Children's or population health: social determinants of health, breastfeeding, children are the future, etc.

The Institute for Health Econ in Alberta actually did a nice job for a couple of years running a "consensus" series to try and translate high-quality (meta-analytic) research into practice. I think that was a good model too for meaningful conferences.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Search this site

  • Google

Blog powered by Typepad