Health planning is a multifaceted process with at least three distinguishing characteristics (health being a labor-intensive sector, complex relationships between different actors, and the balance between clinical and public health perspectives). Values, tactics, and power connections amongst various groups all go into planning. Health planning is a continual process, and creating a plan should be viewed as an intermediate stage rather than the outcome.
Approaches to planning will differ based on societal decision-making principles. The health planning cycle has several stages, each with its own set of iterations. Health planning is currently confronted with various problems, and it is ultimately an art of navigating within existing circumstances to accomplish the intended outcomes.
Rather than prioritizing regulation and control of health services, the health system must incorporate creative processes that lead to constructive transformation and innovation in health service delivery. The Association believes that a decentralized system that builds from the ground up and lays full responsibility on the community: residents, health professionals, and local and regional health planning bodies aremore likely to provide successful and creative health planning. According to the Association, provincial, state, and federal governments and volunteer organizations should support and participate in community health planning.
STEPS INVOLVE IN HEALTH PLANNING:
A structured community health planning organization coordinates comprehensive health planning, which is an ongoing, representative community process. Consumers, providers, local government officials, and planning specialists participate in the extensive health planning process to:
- Identify, evaluate, and assess current and future health needs, goals, resources, inadequacies, causal factors, and alternative courses of action;
- Set priorities
- Promote the implementation of its recommendations
Through open and democratic decision-making procedures involving most consumers, the health planning organization is accountable to the people.
The comprehensive health planning method acknowledges that any community health problem must have several causes, repercussions, and remedies and aims to address all of the key ones as much as possible in arriving at both immediate and long-term solutions.
Ambulatory, emergency, home health, acute in-patient, long-term care, and convalescent treatments are all examples of personal physical and mental health services. The patient must have access to these services through a single point of contact who is accountable for the entirety of his care and is capable of offering or arranging for, then following up on and keeping connectionwith, all aspects of the services delivered to the patient.
Personal health services are offered in several locations; nevertheless, the constant denominator is the patient’s placement within a progressive, comprehensive care system always available to him. The patient should be able to select among choices for his treatment in this totalcare environment, whether it is a free-standing ambulatory care service, a group practice, a private physician’s office, or an institutionally based service. To put it another way, the patient must be given and informed on a wide range of personal health services as described. Within that range, he must be able to select from a wide range of services to meet his needs, ranging from crisis-oriented to drop-in, non-emergent services.
Structures for Planning:
To ensure a more systematic input from each level into other levels of decision-making, the planning capability being established at community and state levels through comprehensive health planning needs to be broadened and connected to include local, regional, and national levels.
- For a specific area, the duty for motivating, guiding, and maintaining a community’s comprehensive health planning process should be explicitly assigned to a single organization, and that agency should service all areas.
- While clear accountability is critical, care must also be taken to ensure that the obligations imposed are reasonable and doable. Territorial size should be such that participatory arrangements are conceivable, with a particular focus on establishing boundaries as closely as possible under a local sense of community. As part of their organizational structure, regional planning organizations should encourage the formation of sub-area planning groups.
- The State Comprehensive Health Planning Agency should support community-based personal health services planning by assisting in the formation of local and regional agencies, providing leadership for health planning issues in the state, and advising and influencing state-level decision-making to ensure that community needs are met.
- Any statewide planning for personal health services should include input from local and regional comprehensive health planning bodies.
- Effective planning and collectiveconsumer-provider decision-making at the local, state, and national levels are critical to building personal health service delivery systems that fulfill people’s fundamentalhealth requirements.
A successful health services delivery system relies on provider agencies’ active participation in the community’s comprehensive health planning process, in which all program decisions are made in the open to solve identified community health problems and meet community health needs according to systematically agreed-upon priorities. Any provider institution that fails to plan in this framework undermines the community’s planning process and questions the provider institutions’ integrity, regardless of how noble the institution’s motivations may be.