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Introduction

  • Sandra Dawson
  • Zöe Slote Morris
Chapter
  • 198 Downloads

Abstract

Public health is the foundation of a healthy society. To understand and improve public health requires that one do more than aggregate what one understands about individual health. We know some of the components that influence individual health: genetic predisposition or determination, social background, disposable income, climate, advances in health technologies and caring protocols, organisational capacity for multisectoral and multidisciplinary working, peer influence, personality, motivation and capacity and willingness to look after oneself and one’s family, friends and neighbours. For public health, however, one needs to do more than quantify the sum, or the mean, of the health of all the individuals within a society or population and consider the context in which individuals and societies live, for example, the role of the state as regulator, provider of social and physical infrastructure, and educator. One needs to develop optimum routes to secure public goods without creating the moral hazard of undercutting individual responsibility. One needs to consider attributions of legitimacy and accountability between members of diverse professions and lay public members; and in the 21st century one needs to consider the impact of globalisation on human lifestyles and microbial life patterns. Thus to understand and act upon the burdens, challenges and opportunities encountered in promoting individual health, itself a herculean task, only gets one part way on the journey to understanding and acting upon the burdens, challenges and opportunities encountered in promoting public health. Yet that is what this book sets out to do.

Keywords

Public Health Policy Public Health Intervention Social Marketing Primary Care Trust Future Public Health 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Sandra Dawson and Zöe Slote Morris 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sandra Dawson
  • Zöe Slote Morris

There are no affiliations available

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