Public Health Paper

Better Essays
From past to present; the changing focus of public health by Maria Joyce

Key sections include:

Environment, infectious disease, locating public health, the enlightenment, the Sanitarians, national provision of services, the inception of the National Health Service, ‘crisis in health’, The New Right, The Third Way, new public health.

Public health, the new ideology may be taken to mean the promotion of healthy lifestyles linked to behaviour and individual responsibility supported by government action; whereas traditionally the description tended to relate more to sanitary reform and ‘healthy conditions’. The chronological development of public health is mapped out, supported by the outlining and discussion of the emerging themes
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The onus on notification of infectious disease is still seen today in the Control of Disease Act 1984 and the Regulation of the Infectious Diseases 1988. This may have positive benefits to public health, limiting illnesses such as food poisoning and rapid identification of outbreaks of bacterial meningitis, measles and other illnesses through prompt notification and medical or environmental intervention. The role of ‘social conscience’ however and its manifestation in social control may have been responsible for dividing communities through encouraging individuals to report their apparently ill neighbours.

Locating public health

The tradition of public health and inherent understanding of the term, dates back as early as pre-Christian times, classified in five periods or bodies of thought: The Graeco-Roman period with emphasis on water and sanitation, the Medieval emphasis on epidemics, the Enlightenment emphasis on disease prevalence, the Industrialisation emphasis on working conditions and Modern era emphasis on bacteriology and virology (Rosen 1993 cited in Costello and Haggart
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