What is the purpose of public health? The answer depends on the purpose and context of the activity. In a free-market economy, promoting healthy choices is as valuable as promoting unhealthy ones. However, it is equally important to protect the environment. As a result, the aim of public health is to protect the public from harmful environmental factors. Likewise, a health-oriented society should promote its citizens’ dignity and self-esteem.
In many countries, Public Health is an expression of overarching social ideals, as it strives to improve the lives of all individuals. However, it differs from traditional population health promotion, where health improvement is a primary goal. In other words, a focus on population health is more valuable than achieving a certain level of population health. Moreover, a strong case for improving the health of populations in poorer countries is also present in developing countries.
Another key role of public health is to foster scientific consensus on health problems. For instance, the number of motor vehicle deaths in the U.S. increased by 838% from 1913 to 2018. This dramatic increase in crash-related fatalities has been attributed to the heightened use of personal cars. In order to curb the rising number of car accidents, public health professionals lobbied for mandatory seatbelt laws.
Public health can make an important contribution to the health of populations in our century. With its proven track record, it makes sense to enlist its services to tackle the challenges of a changing world. New challenges such as the epidemic of chronic diseases, income inequality, and bioterrorism require innovative approaches. For those in the field, it’s essential to embrace public health as an opportunity to make a difference. If you want to know more about public health, read on.