The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS, reference below) defines political advocacy as supporting a cause or proposal in the realm of public policy.
“An effective political advocacy strategy influences public policy, laws and budgets by using facts, relationships, the media, and messaging to educate government officials and the public on the relevant issues of a particular cause. Sometimes that strategy is used to oppose proposed policy changes, and sometimes it is used to support policy changes. Political advocacy can happen at the local, state or national level.”
Doctors Nova Scotia has produced a Political Advocacy Toolkit (reference below, link above) which states:
“To be an effective influencer, you’ll need to build trust with your representative. You need to understand what issues are important to your community and what issues are important to your representative. Here are a few things to remember when working with your representative.
“Politicians want to respond to their constituents. Therefore, they have an interest in listening to those who are willing to take the time to express their views, especially on an issue as important as health care.
“Politicians are very busy. They are busy in Halifax or Ottawa when the house is sitting, attending caucus meetings and they also have to respond to their constituents, media requests and social media inquiries. You may need to make time in your busy schedule to accommodate a meeting with a politician.
“Politicians rely on public opinion. As a physician you rely on science and medicine to inform your decisions. A politician’s job depends on a keen awareness of the mood of the electorate. When speaking with politicians, understand the importance they place on anecdotal information and find ways to connect by telling patient stories.
“Politicians want to hear from you. Personal contact is the most effective form of communication. In fact, the best way to get the attention of a politician or their staff is for you to contact their office personally.”
Atlas topic, subject, and course
HIMSS, Political Advocacy: Determining Your Level of Engagement, at https://www.himss.org/sites/himssorg/files/political-advocacy-level-of-engagement.pdf, accessed 28 December 2018.
Doctors Nova Scotia, Political Advocacy – Engaging with politicians tool kit, at https://doctorsns.com/sites/default/files/2018-04/PoliticalAdvocacy-EngagingWithPoliticiansToolKit.pdf, accessed 28 December 2018.
Page created by: Ian Clark, last modified on 28 December 2018.
Image: Doctors Nova Scotia, Political Advocacy – Engaging with politicians tool kit, at https://doctorsns.com/sites/default/files/2018-04/PoliticalAdvocacy-EngagingWithPoliticiansToolKit.pdf, accessed 28 December 2018.