The underlying themes of this book are twofold: it emphasises the importance of understanding and strengthening health systems to improve a population’s health in low and middle income countries; it promotes the values of equity and the right to health, efficiency, participative and accountable decision-making, and the need for a long-term perspective. These values are examined in relation to governance, policy making and planning, financing, managing, and intersectoral action for health and health service delivery, with a chapter devoted to each.
By permeating the health system with these values, the authors seek to develop a good health system. This would have access to a level of resources commensurate with the national level of income, and use of these resources in the most efficient way to ensure an equitable and maximized level of health, sustainable over the long term. Moreover, it would empower the health system members in areas concerning their health and contributes towards wider social cohesion and mores.