"Health Policy and Practice in Ireland" traces the development of Irish health care services and practices, and the role that different conceptions of disease and different institutional actors have on them. In particular it explains how there has been a shift of attention away from an exclusively biomedical approach to the problems of health and illness to a more inclusive social model. The major themes of the book are the evolution and structure of the Irish health system; inequalities in health and health care; power imbalances in the organisation and delivery of health services; professional-patient interaction; the education and training of health care professionals; and the health beliefs and health practices of lay people. The contributors include administrators and practitioners in the health services as well as academics. This book is intended to meet the needs of students in the health sciences who are required to study a sociological approach to health care as part of their professional training.