Public health policies must address multiple goals and complex community health needs. Recently, management control practices have emerged to provide a broader type of information for evaluating the effectiveness of healthcare policies, and relate activities and processes to multiple strategic outcomes. This study compares the effect of traditional and contemporary management control practices on the achievement of public health policies. It is also analyzed how two different uses of such practices (enabling vs. coercive) facilitate the achievement of public health policies. Relationships are explored using data collected from managers from public health agencies and public hospitals in Spain. The findings show that contemporary management control practices are more suitable than traditional practices to achieve public health policies. Furthermore, results show that public health policies are better achieved when managers use management control practices in an enabling way rather than in a coercive way.