The Concept of Public Participation in Key Health Policy Documents of the First Decade of Lithuania’s Independence (1991 – 2002)

Giedrė Baltrušaitytė

Abstract


The article focuses on the concept of public participation in key national health policy documents that were adopted during the first decade of Lithuania’s Independence (1991 – 2004). Seventeen health policy documents are analyzed: National Health Conception (1991), Lithuanian Health Program (1998) and major health system related laws that defined public participation. It is concluded that although the importance of public participation in key health policies has been highlighted, the possibilities for public involvement in health policy or health and healthcare decision-making in most of these documents were not clearly defined. Public participation is often seen not as involvement of the public in the processes of shaping or implementing health policies, but as participation of patients in their healthcare through granting them certain rights to make personally significant decisions. The public is also often treated as the object in health or healthcare-related decision-making.

Keywords


public participation, health policy, health system, health policy documents

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"Public Policy and Administration" ISSN online 2029-2872 / ISSN print 1648-2603