Prevention or cure?
Public health is the study and practice of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting the health of entire populations and population sub-groups. A key goal in Aotearoa New Zealand is the reduction of health inequalities.
The focus on populations and prevention makes public health quite different to clinical approaches that deal with individual patients once they are sick.
Making a difference to Public Health
Education and research
Prevention of ill health and the promotion of well-being requires a high level of understanding of the factors that determine health and health outcomes.
Public health practitioners include health promoters, public health doctors, nurses, and staff working in occupational health and environmental protection. Others are involved in research, co-ordination and management of services, and the formation and evaluation of health policy at a local and international level.
People studying and working in public health come from a wide range of backgrounds including humanities, social, and biomedical sciences.