According to Longest (2004) and Longest (2010), the main idea embodied in the M2 conceptual model is how dentists can promote the general welfare and dental health of the people based on the strategic planning goals of the Dental Public Health (DPH) as embodied in the mission statements of the American Dental Association (ADA). Here, the main components of the model are the government, education, and the dentists. In each phase of the model, the preference of individuals, ethical, legal, social, ecological, economic, demographic, cultural, interest groups, and organizations issues the solid components that form the foundation of the dental model.
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To protect and promote the public’s health, the dental healthcare model factors the policy formulation, implementation phase, and modification phases and each step is characterized by the elements of the dental health care program policy. Despite this model being oversimplified, it accurately reflects the components of the process in a cyclic manner (Longest, 2010). The flexibility of the model is reflected in its nature such as its flexibility in allowing for easy modification of each decision and subsequent decisions that are made in the dental healthcare domain. It is worth noting that the model illustrates each component of the decision making process as depicted in its cyclic nature. The nature of the model is a clear indication of the importance of the components of the public policy making process.
This model embodies the element that enables players in the healthcare environment to reduce the negative environmental impacts by ways of seeking and applying possible solutions to problems in those circumstances that trigger modifications (Longest, 2004). The relative value and importance of each component in the model routinely illustrates the issues and policy making elements by various participants in the political marketplace. In each case, policies are formulated in response to the problems to be solved. However, it is evident that there is much concern about the implications of the program on the federal budget.
Strengths and weaknesses of the model
Longest (2010) asserts that the strengths of the entire process lie in its openness to accommodate policy changes that happen as minor modifications within the model in a feedback loop. However, perfection cannot be achieved in all the phases because policies change with the changing needs in the health environment. Besides, the model cannot adequately show the political nature of the process because policy making is not predominantly a rational process. It is possible to simplify the process models by an open and comprehensive debate of the policies that makes it easy to use it. However, the model does not factor a wide range of external factors that have strong implications on the decision making processes.
At the level of the provision of oral health services, external factors also play a significant role in the policy making process, which makes the model adaptive and interactive with the users to reflect the events and circumstances that happen in the external environment (Longest, 2004). Longest (2010) argues that in the model’s most basic form, its components are highly interactive and interdependent. Here, the formal enactment legislation component bridges the gap between policy formulation and the implementation phases. Here, policies are modified at the policy modification level. However, any decisions that are made, it makes the entities used in the implementation phase become policies by implementing the decisions.
Longest, Jr. (2010). Health Policymaking in the United States. Chicago, IL: Health Administration Press.
Longest Jr, B. B. (2004). Managing health programs and projects. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons.
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