ONE RECENT Sunday afternoon, after several weeks of feeling poorly, I made the uncomfortable transition from being an observer of the health system to a user of it. As I took off my clothes, put on the green gown provided by the hospital, and followed the instructions for having an X-ray, I felt terribly vulnerable. Was this going to be one of those moments in which everything changes?
Fortunately, my fears were groundless, and I was soon restored to my usual sense of self. But the unsettling experience was a timely reminder of why health policy – an area often obfuscated by impenetrable jargon and self-interested powerbrokers – matters so much.