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Patients and doctors: reformulating the UK health policy community?


  • Salter, Brian


The rise of the active health care consumer in the United Kingdom requires a reformulation not only of the traditional relationship between patients and doctors, but also of the macro-politics of health which reflect and service that relationship. Market and democratic themes have supplied an ideological impetus to the pressures for change. The well-publicised problems of medical self-regulation have given them practical political expression. However, the response from the policy community still reflects the dominant partners within it, medicine and the state. What neither partner has recognised is that the functionality of the policy community has been undermined by the different and issue-based challenges to the traditional patient-doctor relationship. As a result, the state is likely to remain the lead player in an increasingly unstable politics of health where consumerist issues are on the policy agenda, but patient groups are still excluded from the policy community.

Suggested Citation

  • Salter, Brian, 2003. "Patients and doctors: reformulating the UK health policy community?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 57(5), pages 927-936, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:57:y:2003:i:5:p:927-936

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    Cited by:

    1. Jones, Lorelei & Exworthy, Mark, 2015. "Framing in policy processes: A case study from hospital planning in the National Health Service in England," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 196-204.
    2. Lopes, Edilene & Carter, Drew & Street, Jackie, 2015. "Power relations and contrasting conceptions of evidence in patient-involvement processes used to inform health funding decisions in Australia," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 84-91.
    3. Baggott, Rob & Jones, Kathryn, 2014. "The voluntary sector and health policy: The role of national level health consumer and patients' organisations in the UK," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 202-209.
    4. Noerreslet, Mikkel & Larsen, Jakob B. & Traulsen, Janine M., 2005. "The medicine user--Lost in translation?: Analysis of the official political debate prior to the deregulation of the Danish medicine distribution system," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 61(8), pages 1733-1740, October.
    5. Salter, Brian & Zhou, Yinhua & Datta, Saheli, 2015. "Hegemony in the marketplace of biomedical innovation: Consumer demand and stem cell science," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 156-163.


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