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essential public health services


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A set of services provided by public health agencies that are considered to be required for health protection and disease prevention. A WHO-sponsored delphi study in 1995–1997 arrived at a consensus among internationally recognized public health experts that some public health functions are essential everywhere, so services to provide these are required in all nations. These functions include disease monitoring and surveillance; environmental protection; health promotion; communicable disease control; health legislation; occupational health services; specific health services for children and other vulnerable groups; and the management, administration, and evaluation of public health services. The essential functions are:1. Monitor health status to identify community health problems.2. Diagnose and investigate community health problems and hazards.3. Inform, educate, and empower people about health issues.4. Mobilize community partnerships to identify and solve health problems.5. Develop policies and plans to support personal and community health efforts.6. Enforce laws and regulations that protect health and safety.7. Connect people and the services they need.8. Assure a competent workforce for personal and community health.9. Evaluate effectiveness, accessibility, and quality of personal and community health services.10. Conduct research to gain new insights and seek innovative solutions.At its plenary session in 2000, the Pan American Health Organization added two more to make a total of 12 essential public health functions: namely,11. Management capacity to organize public health systems and services.12. Reducing the impact of disasters and emergencies on health.See http://www.lachsr.org/en/thesaurus/00000228.htm. See also core functions of public health.

1. Monitor health status to identify community health problems.

2. Diagnose and investigate community health problems and hazards.

3. Inform, educate, and empower people about health issues.

4. Mobilize community partnerships to identify and solve health problems.

5. Develop policies and plans to support personal and community health efforts.

6. Enforce laws and regulations that protect health and safety.

7. Connect people and the services they need.

8. Assure a competent workforce for personal and community health.

9. Evaluate effectiveness, accessibility, and quality of personal and community health services.

10. Conduct research to gain new insights and seek innovative solutions.

11. Management capacity to organize public health systems and services.

12. Reducing the impact of disasters and emergencies on health.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology.


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