The Department of Health for the last ten years has been successful in its various programs and initiatives designed to secure funding and improve the performance of core public health programs. Part of the Department's success can be attributed to its research-based policies and decisions. As health care reform is a continuous process, there are both unresolved and emerging issues as well as new priorities and programs. Three factors are affecting the health policy environment namely globalization, privatization and decentralization. It is thus important to develop a research agenda that will focus on how the trends towards these factors could be harnessed to provide greater access to effective and efficient health care.