Researcher’s book on health care, policymaking published

August 2, 2012 | Research, UToday
By Samantha Watson

A book written by Dr. Sunday Ubokudom, UT associate professor in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration, has been received well so far, and he hopes to see its popularity grow with the coming school year.


The book, United States Health Care Policymaking: Ideological, Social and Cultural Differences and Major Influences, was published in April and is being sold internationally.

Writing the book took Ubokudom two and a half years and was a challenging experience.

“One of the most difficult parts is really putting your ideas together and getting a publisher,” Ubokudom said. “When you get rejected, you have to pick yourself up and keep trying. I think that’s one of the greatest lessons that anybody can learn from a process like this.”

The book discusses health-care policies in the United States such as Medicare, Medicaid, and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. It also explains how ideological, social and cultural differences affect policymaking not only in America but worldwide.

Although its main focus is on health care in the United States, what happens abroad has a direct effect on the health care of any country. One factor behind this idea, Ubokudom explained, is the spread of epidemics. When a virus such as H1N1 is introduced into a population, it doesn’t take long before it spreads not only throughout that area, but throughout the world.

“We now live in a global village — a world without borders,” Ubokudom said. He then gave the example of severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, a viral disease that broke out in Hong Kong in November 2002 and within weeks infected individuals in 37 different countries, killing more than 900 people.

This book also discusses some of the determinants of health. For example, the environment a person lives in has a lot to do with his or her health, and climates all over the world can be incredibly different from one another. This affects policymaking on a large scale.

Ubokudom will use the book in his health-care policy class this fall, and he hopes that with the upcoming school year some buzz will be created about his work. The publisher already has indicated to him that there is a good chance a second edition of the book will be needed.

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