Policy Innovations for Health

  • Ilona Kickbusch


We are at a turning point in health policy. It has become increasingly clear that changes in the existing health care system will not be sufficient to maintain and improve our health at this historical juncture. Both our extensive knowledge on what creates health as well as the exponentially rising rates of chronic disease obesity, and mental health problems indicate that we need to shift course and apply a radically new mind-set to health and health policy. This is what we mean by policy innovations for health. The boundaries of what we call the “health system” are becoming increasingly fluid and health has become integral to how we live our everyday life. Health itself has become a major economic and social driving force in society. This shifts the pressure for policy innovation from a focus on the existing health system to a reorganization of how we approach health in 21st century societies. The dynamics of the health society challenge the way we conceptualize and locate health in the policy arena and the mechanisms through which we conduct health policy. They also redefine who should be involved in the policy process. This concern is beginning to be addressed within government through Health in All Policy approaches and beyond government through new partnerships for health. Most importantly, the role of citizen and patient is being redefined – a development that will probably lead to the most significant of the policy innovations for health in the 21st century.


Open Innovation Policy Innovation World Economic Forum Network Governance Health Governance 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Graduate Institute GenevaCH 1211 Geneva 21Switzerland

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