health department

Quick Reference

The branch of national, regional (i.e., state, provincial, territorial), or local (i.e., municipal, county, city) government concerned with the provision, administration, resource allocation, financing, surveillance, and evaluation of services for health promotion and protection. Health departments are publicly funded and originally focused on public health, but in many nations they have become increasingly involved in financial and administrative aspects of personal health services. Many public health departments provide some aspects of personal health care services, for instance maternal and child care, treatment of sexually transmitted and other infectious diseases, and services for elderly infirm and housebound chronic sick. Many such health departments require malpractice insurance coverage for staff in these services, which is an increasingly costly component of expenses.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology.

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