The science and practice of people-centred health systems

Health Policy and Planning and the organizers of the Third Global Symposium on Health Systems Research are pleased to issue a call for papers for a special supplement on the theme of “The science and practice of people-centred health systems”. The theme for the call is also the theme of the Symposium.

People-centred health systems are founded on pro-people philosophies of social justice and equity, recognize the role of social exclusion and inequities as determinants of poor health, and can also actively work to address them. They consider the health needs and preferences of individuals, families and communities, and create the channels through which these can be articulated and realized. They also recognize and actively progress people’s rights to participate in and determine how health systems are organized, resources are allocated, and services are delivered.

The idea of people-centred health systems also encompasses the rights and needs of people who work in and for the health system in various roles – as carers, health workers, advocates, administrators, planners and researchers. It also recognizes that important decisions that determine health system performance at all levels are made by specific people (individuals and groups in the public and private sectors) – highlighting the importance of collective duties toward the advancement of health, and of identifying responsibility and ensuring accountability for health system outcomes.

Finally, the concept of people-centred health systems also acknowledges that health systems operate in broader social, political and economic contexts that are of human creation, and the need to respond to all factors that affect health rather than focusing only on biomedically driven solutions.

Full manuscripts on the theme of “the science and practice of people centred health systems” should be submitted to Health Policy and Planning by 18 November 2013.  Original research articles as well as review papers are invited. Submissions that have a first-author who is a resident in a low and middle-income country are particularly encouraged.

Accepted papers will be published as a special journal supplement prior to the Symposium, which will take place in Cape Town, South Africa, 30 September – 3 October, 2014.

The full text of the call contains suggested topics, details of the selection process and author information.

For further queries, contact Kabir Sheikh ( or Michael Kent Ranson (