In order to have a significant role in identifying policies and policy proposals with potential impacts on health, the health sector needs to have sufficient capacity in terms of public health personnel at the various levels of administration and this personnel needs to have adequate public health training and sufficient mandates and responsibilities allotted to them.
Even if health considerations have become an intrinsic part of policy-making in some sectors, such as that of environmental policies, in general other sectors need input from the health sector in order to be able to take health implications into account. This is the case especially in areas without a strong tradition of considering health implications and in the cases of new or emerging issues or potential problems.
Assessing the health impacts of policies and policy initiatives, as well as formulating healthy policy options, requires resources in terms of a knowledge base, public health training, personnel, structures, and financing.
Policy decision-makers and those implementing policies should be served on a regular basis with appropriate knowledge on and analyses of the population's health status and its major determinants stratified by population groups, as well as trends in them.
Decision-makers should be provided with analyses of the health implications of major existing horizontal policies, as well as of policy proposals and alternatives with potentially remarkable influences on health and health determinants.