University of Tasmania

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A study of the policy development process in operation under severe time constraints : the Tasmanian response to AIDS

posted on 2023-05-26, 16:55 authored by Morrison, Susan
The scope of this study is the development of the policy response of the Tasmanian Government to the problems posed by Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, referred to as \AIDS\". This will be examined principally in relation to the decisions and actions taken within the Tasmanian Department of Heal~h Services as this was the agency with primary responsibility. It is acknowledged that AIDS is more than just a public health issue however and a number of other Government agencies and policy- areas were also involved. Possible strategies to combat AIDS in common with public health measures in the past have also raised serious questions of civil liberties(l) which have only been touched upon in this work. These related aspects will not be dealt with fully but will be covered to the extent that they impinge on or overlap areas within the auspices of the Department of Health Services. AIDS is primarily a public health issue but it is also more than that. Epidemics 'death and disease and open discussion of sexuality all pose threats to feelings of security within otir society. They threaten the way we live. (2) Responses to any of them are therefore coloured by a range of emotional reactions that increase the complexities in the decisionmaking process. When the epidemic is an incurable terminal disease that has links with 'deviant' sexuality the level of difficulty soars. And yet decisions sometimes hard decisions must be made. The case study has been presented as a general historical overview of the Department's response to AIDS. It is not exhaustive but traces a number of themes through till?-e. Many of the events discussed were occurring contemporaneously with the collection of material.and the writing of the case study. The writer's own involvement with the Department's response is perhaps a complicating factor however it does permit the unique opportunity of making observations that go behind the bare written record. The sources used have been principally those files and additional materials held within the Tasmanian Department of Health Services. Some material has been released publicly through the Commonwealth Health Department and the Australian Government Publication Service and a small number of monographs of varying quality have been published. Generally however publicly available material that is accurate and reliable is sparse. Extensive reliance has therefore been made of Departmental files supported by conversations with key individuals to verify specific details and the writer's own experience. Expressions of opinion contained within the case study except where specifically quoted are those. of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Department of Health Services. An overview of a number of theories of decisionmaking and the policy process are presented and their applicability or otherwise to the case study is discussed. Again the presentation of theories does not purport to be exhaustive and the scope of the study does not permit a full treatment of some of the more complex theories such as those of Yehezekel Dror. The outlines presented however provide a sufficient theoretical context in which to place the case study which in turn leads to the conclusion that there remains considerable scope for further analytical work to be undertaken in the area of policy studies."


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Copyright 1987 the author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Thesis (M.Soc.Sc.)--University of Tasmania, 1988. Pamphlets in pocket. Bibliography: leaves 94-96

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