Addressing health challenges in a resource-poor setting

Ian Maddocks
Med J Aust 2012; 197 (10): . || doi: 10.5694/mja12.10716
Published online: 19 November 2012

Go slowly, gather data and listen carefully

If a health care system is viewed as confined (ie, inside a “box”) and assessed only through examination of its internal components, the interactions of its components will be poorly understood. Applying this principle to a resource-poor nation — by focusing on the plight of the people in the villages, townships, clinics and hospitals, and the need for money for staff education and improved resources — we may see few outcomes and feel frustrated by our inability to meet public need. A greater understanding comes from looking outside the box, to see its inputs from and outputs to the wider world.

  • 1 Flinders University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA.
  • 2 Faculty of Medicine, University of Papua New Guinea, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.


Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.

  • 1. Maddocks I. Has it all been worthwhile [editorial]? P N G Med J 1966; 9: 77-78.
  • 2. Maddocks, I. Pari village. In: Hetzel BS, editor. Basic health care in developing countries. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1978: 11-37.


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