August 18, 1969

Perspectives in Health Planning

Author Affiliations

American Medical Association Chicago


by Arthur Engel, 88 pp, 20 illus, $3.50, London: Athlone Press (New York: Oxford University Press), 1968.

JAMA. 1969;209(7):1092. doi:10.1001/jama.1969.03160200056033

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For a doyen of the profession the delivery of a named series of lectures calls for tricky navigation between a lapse into anecdotal autobiography on the one hand and the temptation to preach on the other.

In the latest volume of Heath Clark Lectures the tone is statistical rather than opinionated, pragmatic instead of philosophical, and the speaker-author has escaped both Scylla and Charybdis. Dr. Arthur Engel, until recently Director-General of the National Board of Health of Sweden, draws on his intimate experience of the Swedish welfare health system. He knows the problems of health planning. His suggestions regarding the problems that lie ahead are realistic, and his offered solutions sound eminently feasible.

The developed countries must plan now for an aging population living in what Engel terms the "synthetic environment"—a product of the increasing industrialization and urbanization of society, the breakdown of traditional patterns of family life, and the