Deciding whether to engage the public on health care issues

Healthc Manage Forum. Autumn 2008;21(3):24-8. doi: 10.1016/S0840-4704(10)60271-2.


Health care decision-makers often face calls for greater public participation or see increasing public engagement as part of their organizational mandate. This article identifies six questions decision-makers must consider when deciding whether to formally engage the public or other stakeholders around a particular health care issue. These questions focus on (1) the clarity of the issue for public engagement, (2) the appropriateness of the issue for public engagement, (3) the extent to which there are viable options, (4) the role for the public, (5) whether the public likely want to be involved and (6) consideration of the expected advantages and disadvantages of public engagement.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attitude to Health*
  • Canada
  • Community Participation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Decision Making, Organizational*
  • Financing, Government
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Policy*
  • Health Priorities
  • Humans
  • Policy Making*
  • Public Opinion*
  • Resource Allocation
  • Role