Abstract From April 1974, National Health Service authorities have been merged to provide integrated and comprehensive services. The reorganization policies place considerable emphasis on the need for management and planning but planning for health services is not well developed. Ambiguous operational objectives and obscured criteria for effectiveness are not the most promising basis for planning. Nevertheless, a commendable beginning is to be made on planning comprehensively through a systematic annual review of Government health service policies and planning and programming procedures for health authorities. The outlines of the system are described and the prospects for success and further development are considered.