What is public health?

What is public health?

Public health is the practice of promoting and protecting the health and wellbeing of populations rather than individuals.  It focuses on the prevention of ill health. A healthy population is an asset to society.

Everyone has an important role in looking after their own health. However, many of the factors that influence our health outcomes are outside the control of the individual, such as environmental, economic and social factors.  

Factors such as where we live, learn, work and play all influence health, as well as the opportunity to make healthy choices. Inequities in these factors can create health inequalities.   

Health equity, giving everyone a chance to reach their potential to live a healthier life, is a core aim of public health and the primary focus of the Institute of Public Health.  

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