Public health is the process that gathers, interprets, and translates knowledge of health factors amongst the population into effective action.
Public health refers to all organized measures (whether public or private) to prevent disease, promote health, and prolong life among the population as a whole. Its activities aim to provide conditions in which people can be healthy and focus on entire populations, not on individual patients or diseases. Thus, public health is concerned with the total system and not only the eradication of a particular disease. WHO consider that the three main public health functions are:
- The assessment and monitoring of the health of communities and populations at risk to identify health problems and priorities.
- The formulation of public policies designed to solve identified local and national health problems and priorities.
- To assure that all populations have access to appropriate and cost-effective care, including health promotion and disease prevention services.
Public health professionals monitor and diagnose the health concerns of entire communities and promote healthy practices and behaviours to ensure that populations stay healthy. (World Health Organisation, http://www.who.int/trade/glossary/story076/en/).
For information on healthy living please visit the Health Promotion pages on this site which can be found here.
A range of reports and information are publicly available, including the Medical Officer of Health annual reports and Lifestyle Surveys (see below).
Medical Officer of Health Annual Reports
- Medical Officer of Health reports contain a wide range of public health information. Each annual report will focus on a specific theme for that year e.g. Health Surveillance and Priority Setting, Prevention of Child Maltreatment etc.
- The most recent published reports can be downloaded below:
- 115th MOH Annual Report [1Mb]
- 114th MOH Annual Report [2Mb]
- 113th MOH Annual Report [1Mb]
- 112th MOH Annual Report [2Mb]
- 111th MOH Annual Report [3Mb]
- 110th MOH Annual Report [5Mb]
Other reports published by the Medical Officer of Health