On Health Policy and Management (HPAM): Mind the Theory-Policy-Practice Gap

Document Type : Perspective


1 Hebrew University-Hadassah, Jerusalem, Israel

2 Wagner School of Public Service, New York University, New York, NY, USA


We argue that the field of Health Policy and Management (HPAM) ought to confront the gap between theory, policy, and practice. Although there are perennial efforts to reform healthcare systems, the conceptual barriers are considerable and reflect the theory-policy-practice gap. We highlight four dimensions of the gap: 1) the dominance of microeconomic thinking in health policy analysis and design; 2) the lack of learning from management theory and comparative case studies; 3) the separation of HPAM from the rank and file of healthcare; and 4) the failure to expose medical students to issues of HPAM. We conclude with suggestions for rethinking the field of HPAM by embracing broader perspectives, e.g. ethics, urban health, systems analysis and cross-national analyses of healthcare systems.


Commentaries Published on this Paper

  • Health Policy and Management: In Praise of Political Science; Comment on “On Health Policy and Management (HPAM): Mind the Theory-Policy Practice Gap”

            Abstract | PDF

  • An American Plague: Pro-Market Believers in Health Policy; Comment on “On Health Policy and Management (HPAM): Mind the Theory-Policypractice Gap”

            Abstract | PDF


Authors’ Response to the Commentaries

  • The Health Policy and Management (HPAM) Gap- From Diagnosis to Prescription: A Response to Recent Commentaries

            Abstract | PDF



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Main Subjects

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