The principles of creating a health program
The implementation of health policy programs is based on the well-known maxim that “prevention is better than cure”. This short message should be a signpost for all decision-makers of the state’s health policy. Many diseases that commonly plague society today could be avoided if simple and well-known preventive actions were consistently implemented. Health policy programs implemented by local government units are designed to help the public in achieving health. Local self-governments, being the closest to the residents, know their health needs best and thus they can best satisfy them.
When starting to prepare the health policy program, we have to answer some important questions:
1. What health problem should the program address?
2. How many groups is affected by a given health problem?
3. What is the main objective of the program implementation?
4. Are there known and proven methods for solving a given health problem?
5. What resources do we have?
6. What effects do we expect after the program is completed?
The answer to the above questions at the very beginning of the program design will allow you to organize the planned activities.
One of the most important elements of the health program is to define the target group. In order for our activities to be effective and bring the desired effect, we need to know the characteristics and needs of the target group in detail, which will allow us to take the best steps to reach it. The purpose of our actions in relation to different groups may be the same, eg education of the habit of healthy eating, however, activities must be adjusted to the group, eg we will undertake different types of activities in relation to children, different to young people, and another to older people. When discussing the principles of creating a health program, it is necessary to mention the necessity to set the program implementation period. The time frame of our activities should take into account the possibility of achieving the goal set by us. Another element is a well-defined, measurable and real program goal, taking into account our resources. The measurable objective will determine if we managed to achieve it after the end of the program. According to the principle of creating a health program, a good health program also includes monitoring and evaluation methods that will allow you to summarize the activities carried out after the end of the program and monitor the effectiveness during its lifetime.