Conceptions and uses of public health ideas by New Zealand government policymakers: report on a five-agency survey
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OBJECTIVES: This article describes New Zealand government policymakers' awareness of, attitudes toward and self-reported use of ideas about the determinants of health. Some comparison with an earlier Canadian study is provided. METHODS: Employees with policymaking and advisory responsibilities in government departments of health, social development, housing, education and finance were surveyed. RESULTS: More than half of the respondents (58%) were familiar with ideas about health determinants. Eighty percent felt that health determinants should be considered in all government policy, but that more practical information on effective policy interventions is needed. Commitment to the idea that the economy should take precedence over reducing health inequalities was low. CONCLUSIONS: There is a demand for literature on health determinants that is sector specific and which provides practical and proven information about effective interventions that influence health.
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