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Policy Process: Formulation, Legislation, and Implementation Research Paper

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Updated: Jun 11th, 2022

Abstract

Policies should be carefully analyzed and implemented because of the lifestyles of many persons. Positive policies have the potential to improve the local, state, and federal health care systems. The targeted policy issue is rural health. This topic is critical towards ensuring every person gets adequate health support. Successful implementation of this policy will impact the health outcomes of every person in the country’s rural areas. This paper describes the policy process required for this topic.

Objective of the Policy

The issue of rural health has been ignored by many state governments over the past decades. Goodwin and Tobler (2013) argue that “the obstacles encountered by healthcare practitioners and clients in different rural areas are greater than those in urban regions” (p. 3). This disparity explains why more individuals in rural areas lack appropriate health support. The existing disparities are caused by educational, social, economic, and legal differences. Many citizens in rural areas lack adequate recognition thus affecting their lifestyles. Some regions lack adequate facilities, healthcare practitioners, and resources. These gaps are responsible for the poor health outcomes associated with rural regions. These challenges make it impossible for more individuals to access quality information.

Many people in the targeted regions face numerous health problems such as alcoholism, smoking, and hypertension (Keith, Lucia, & Corlette, 2013). Statistics also indicate clearly that many people in rural areas lack basic needs. They also have “higher chances of becoming poor” (Keith et al., 2013, p. 4). Maternal, dental, and counseling services are usually scarce in many rural areas. Within the past years, the government failed to undertake rigorous measures in an attempt to deal with various health quandaries. A new policy focusing on the health needs of rural residents will ensure more people have better lifestyles. That being the case, the objective of the Rural Health Policy is to minimize these disparities and eventually support the ever-changing health needs of many citizens in different rural regions.

Formulation Stage

The formulation stage is “a pre-decision phase whereby the pioneers craft viable goals and analyze the benefits and costs of the targeted policy” (Hai, 2012, p. 3). Several issues should be considered during the formulation stage of the proposed policy. The major goals and objectives of the policy should be outlined during this stage. Several alternatives must also be identified in order to address the issue of rural health in a professional manner. It is also important to consider the feasibility of the policy. The targeted individuals should benefit from the proposed programs and principles. The political class should also accept the targeted policy (Hai, 2012). During the formulation phase, the concerned parties should compare and contrast the costs of the policy.

Different actors should be identified during this stage. Some of these actors include legislators, community members, social workers, healthcare practitioners, and faith-based organizations. The success of the policy depends on the support provided by different stakeholders (Hai, 2012). The policy should successfully address most of the challenges affecting different individuals in every rural region. The proponents of the policy issue should mobilize more players and inform them about the targeted benefits.

Legislation Phase

The legislative phase is “undertaken to ensure the targeted policy instruments get the required support from different players such as interest groups and politicians” (Hai, 2012, p. 4). During this phase, different organizations and NGOs should be involved in order to support the policy. Well-wishers, politicians, and sponsors should be identified in order to support the policy. The committee behind the suggested policy should outline new strategies to get enough support (Mason, Leavitt, & Chaffee, 2011). The funds obtained from different sponsors will be used throughout the campaign process. More politicians and healthcare specialists will be informed about the benefits of having a proper Rural Health Policy.

The other critical process should focus on peer education and sensitization. The above stakeholders should inform more people about the benefits of the Rural Health Policy. They should begin by analyzing the disparities and challenges facing many citizens in America. Healthcare practitioners will also present their grievances and identify better practices that can improve local healthcare systems. Such stakeholders should also inform various legislators about the benefits of the policy. For instance, a powerful “rural healthcare system will ensure more individuals have healthy lifestyles” (Bailey, 2009, p. 4).

Consequently, the government will reduce its expenses and improve the welfare of its people. These ideas will influence the decisions of more legislators. Such legislators will support the proposed policy. The drafters of the policy can also “seek consent through continued consultation with different interest groups” (Bailey, 2009, p. 5). This move will encourage more legislators to be involved in the process and eventually make it successful. This stage is therefore critical because it dictates the success of the policy. A proper campaign and sensitization strategy will ensure more politicians are aware of the benefits associated with the new policy (Goodwin & Tobler, 2013). The ultimate goal is to address the major health problems faced by many people in different rural environments.

Implementation Stage

The implementation process refers to the establishment of a responsible organization that can execute the principles and activities defined by the policy (Bailey, 2009). The identified organization or body should have the relevant resources and legal authorities to execute the outlined actions. As well, the implementers should be aware of the best practices that can deliver desirable goals.

The stakeholders involved during the formulation stage should also be part of the implementation process. For instance, different healthcare practitioners should be ready to embrace the best practices in order to support the changing health goals of many people in different rural areas (Mason et al., 2011). Residents in rural areas should also be ready to support the implemented policy. The residents can achieve this goal by promoting the best health practices and delivering information to the targeted organization (Goodwin & Tobler, 2013). The organization will use the collected information to make appropriate decisions and deliver quality care. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) should also be part of the implementation process. Such NGOs can deliver the best practices and resources in an attempt to achieve new health goals.

The other critical sub-stage of the implementation phase is evaluation. The parties involved in the implementation stage should assess and monitor the success of the Rural Health Policy. They should examine the appropriateness of certain decisions, offer new feedback, and make changes (Keith et al., 2013). These practices will ensure the policy is implemented successfully. The stakeholders should use appropriate practices in order to maintain the policy. New considerations and principles can be used to strengthen the policy.

Reference List

Bailey, J. (2009). The Top 10 Rural Issues for Health Care Reform. Center for Rural Affairs, 1(1), 1-8.

Goodwin, K., & Tobler, L. (2013). Improving Rural Health: State Policy Options. National Conference of State Legislatures, 1(1), 1-11.

Hai, D. (2012). Process of Public Policy Formulation in Developing Countries. Web.

Keith, K., Lucia, K., & Corlette, S. (2013). Realizing Health Reform’s Potential. The Commonwealth Fund, 8(1), 1-14.

Mason, D., Leavitt, J., & Chaffee, M. (2011). Policy and Politics in Nursing and Healthcare. St. Louis, MO: Saunders.

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