Public health promotes the well-being of the entire population, ensures their safety and protects them from the spread of infectious diseases and environmental hazards, and helps ensure access to safe and quality care for the benefit of the population. Public health is the science that protects and improves the health of individuals and their communities. This work is achieved through the promotion of healthy lifestyles, research on the prevention of diseases and injuries, and the detection, prevention and response to infectious diseases. In general, public health is concerned with protecting the health of entire populations.
These populations can be as small as a local neighborhood or as large as an entire country or region of the world. The public health system consists of government agencies, public health officials, private sector companies, and non-profit organizations. Public health generally tends to encompass numerous programs within the standard configuration of the Ministry of Health and is often overshadowed by the broader curative health responsibilities of the ministry. Regardless of the size of the population they serve, public health professionals work to prevent health problems from occurring or recurring and to mitigate the effects when problems occur.
Public health is a science that aims to protect and improve the health of individuals, communities and populations in general, which can be as small as a neighborhood or as large as a region of the world. While too numerous to list here, public health works cover a wide variety of areas, including epidemiology, environmental health, biostatistics, health services management, and more. Given the importance of animal health and environmental issues to human health, these networks should also cross disciplinary boundaries and include veterinary and environmental health diagnostic laboratories. A concrete step in maximizing the potential contribution that public health can make by supporting HSS is to clearly define and promote what the public health contribution to HSS actually is and how it relates to other aspects of the broader global HSS effort.
For public health (and organizations that promote public health) to contribute optimally to HSS initiatives, a broader understanding of the central role of public health and the areas of contribution are needed. As the main public health institution in the United States, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) can provide clarity on the role, contributions, and priority areas of focus of public health within the global initiatives of the USG's HSS. Public health institutions have an important role to play in monitoring and evaluating the performance of health workers and in designing approaches and aids to improve performance and patient care.
While it's possible to gain experience in the field, many public health careers require a master's degree in public health (MPH) to enter and advance the profession. However, public health officials, many of whom may have public health degrees, work every day to keep people healthy and safe, locally and around the world, by preventing illness and injury. The prevention, treatment, and management of diseases and the preservation of mental and physical well-being through services offered by medical and related health professions; also known as medical care. A good example of medical care versus public health is that a doctor would treat a gunshot wound, while a public health professional would work to identify the systemic causes of armed violence and seek solutions.