Thesis

Policy critique: Republic Act No. 7305 (The Magna Carta of Public Health Workers) and Its Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations

Thesis for: Master of Public Health, Advisor: Dr. Francis S. Cruz

ABSTRACT Objective: 1) To identify policy gaps with respect to the Magna Carta of Public Health Workers. 2) To develop recommendations for action to address identified gaps.

Methods: Searches of electronic databases (PubMed and Google), Key informant interviews.

Results: Republic Act No. 7305 mandates the payment of additional cash incentives and allowances to health workers. However, implementation of this provision has been uneven in the two decades since it was passed into law. Not all government agencies are implementing the law nor is it being fully implemented among agencies that have adopted the legislation due to insufficiency of funds. Further compounding the issue is the confusion as to who constitutes public health workers and, therefore, who are entitled to its benefits, resulting to a perception that it has become a milking cow of some public health workers. Finally, monitoring of policy implementation has been generally weak.

Conclusion: Policy gaps have rendered the law ineffective. Contrary to its intent, health workers remain undervalued, underdeveloped but over-utilized two decades since Republic Act No. 7305 was passed into law. Policy recommendations are offered to address these concerns.

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    ABSTRACT: Policy analysis is an established discipline in the industrialized world, yet its application to developing countries has been limited. The health sector in particular appears to have been neglected. This is surprising because there is a well recognized crisis in health systems, and prescriptions abound of what health policy reforms countries should introduce. However, little attention has been paid to how countries should carry out reforms, much less who is likely to favour or resist such policies. This paper argues that much health policy wrongly focuses attention on the content of reform, and neglects the actors involved in policy reform (at the international, national sub-national levels), the processes contingent on developing and implementing change and the context within which policy is developed. Focus on policy content diverts attention from understanding the processes which explain why desired policy outcomes fail to emerge. The paper is organized in 4 sections. The first sets the scene, demonstrating how the shift from consensus to conflict in health policy established the need for a greater emphasis on policy analysis. The second section explores what is meant by policy analysis. The third investigates what other disciplines have written that help to develop a framework of analysis. And the final section suggests how policy analysis can be used not only to analyze the policy process, but also to plan.
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May 30, 2014