STEPS Centre - return to home

Health & Disease

The Health and Disease Domain aims to help identify pathways of health sector change that enable poor people to manage their health problems more effectively and gain access to the benefits of health-related expert knowledge and advice.

Health and Disease domain convenor: Gerry Bloom

Markets for healthcare and pharmaceuticals are spreading rapidly in many countries. Meanwhile, new information communications technology (ICT) is changing the way people access advice and medicines. And as recent events such as SARS, H1N1 and avian influenza have shown, changing patterns in human behaviour and the environment have meant that epidemics can spread in new ways. As institutions, policies and practitioners struggle to keep up with these changes, how can alternative pathways be found which improve access for the poor?

We are concentrating on two themes:

1) Complex systems
How can insights on complexity and a systems approach provide new ways of understanding both the response to the risk of emergence of new infectious diseases and the management of health system change to improve access of poor people to safe and effective health-related goods and services? Working with our affiliate partner Future Health Systems will aim to influence national and global policies concerning health system development.

2) Politics of diversity
We will explore two questions: What are the consequences of the spread of markets and of new technologies that enable people to bypass “professional” mediators in securing health related advice and drugs? What are the tensions between rights-based universal care and the increasing availability of personalised care and care that responds to the special needs of different communities?

Briefing: Health in a changing world (pdf, 625kb)

Changes in markets, ICTs (information communication technology) and society present new challenges for health institutions and practitioners. How can pathways be developed that ensure access for the poor?

This briefing looks at the first phase (2007-2011) of the STEPS Centre’s work on health and disease.

Book: Transforming health markets

Our book in the STEPS Centre’s Pathways to Sustainability book series looks at how the challenge of unregulated health markets is being addressed.

Transforming Health Markets in Asia and Africa: Improving quality and access for the poor Edited by Gerald Bloom, Barun Kanjilal, Henry Lucas, David Peters Routledge, August 2012 £22.99

What happened at the Washington DC debate to launch the book? Follow the event’s Storify