What are the Core Functions of Public Health, and Why Are They Important?

What Are the Core Functions of Public Health, and Why Are They Critical?

Functions of Public Health is the practice of improving and promoting the health of individuals as well as their communities. Public health professionals work to investigate diseases, respond to outbreaks, create programs for improved access to healthcare services, educate people about proper care methods and train them on how to take better care. Public health may include protection for individuals, communities, organisations or entire populations.

Public health must perform several core functions that are absolutely essential. These essential public functions of health (EPHFs) form the backbone for all other duties and responsibilities faced by public health practitioners. Among these core public health functions:

  • Assessment
  • Policy Development
  • Assurance

These organizations collaborate to enhance, promote and protect everyone’s health. Experts agree that public health has three objectives:

  1. Prevent the spread of diseases and reduce their incidence
  2. Protect against environmental threats and hazards
  3. Encourage good health practices and preventive measures
    Aid communities in recovering from natural disasters.

Guarantee access to high quality healthcare services with assurance.

We’ll examine the three fundamental functions of public-health and their connection to both current and future public-health professionals.

Three Functions of Public Health Explained

1) Assessment

Assessment is the process of collecting and analyzing data related to health problems. Public health professionals use assessment to research community wellbeing, potential risks, and resources available for prevention or treatment of future issues. By performing assessments, public health specialists are able to recognize trends which lead to death, disease, or injury – services which the CDC describes as essential functions in this function.

Monitor your health and environment to identify, investigate and resolve health problems
Recognize and investigate health hazards and environmental health hazards within the community

2) Policy Development

Public health professionals use the information gathered to start policy development. In order to formulate sound policies, information sharing, consulting and citizen involvement are all essential ingredients. Stakeholders in public health evaluate available data about problems, programs and threats to determine which policies or decisions will best meet public needs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), these are the core responsibilities of policy developers within healthcare.

People must be educated and empowered about environmental health concerns.
Foster community collaborations and take action to solve health problems.
Policies that support both community-wide and individual environmental health efforts should be created.

3) Assurance

Public health assurance is the third essential function, which involves active efforts to safeguard and maintain communities. Public health assurance ensures health services are accessible and of high quality for individuals and communities while also promoting and protecting against disease through campaigns, programs and other strategies which do just that – according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In other words: services provided are:

  • Policies that promote safety and safeguard the environment must be strictly enforced.
  • Connect people with the appropriate health services and ensure they receive them when necessary.
  • Communities can only benefit when there is a competent workforce for environmental health.
  • Assess the quality, accessibility, effectiveness and availability of health services before looking for innovative solutions. After researching these problems and recognizing them, identify potential solutions.

Why Is It Essential to Have Core Functions of Public Health?

Public health is founded upon the three functions listed above and forms the basis of careers within this field. Public health professionals are accountable for protecting, promoting and restoring others’ health. The core roles of public healthcare outline precisely how this mission must be achieved.

  • Assessment of Community Health Risks and Current Conditions
  • Policies to Ensuring Safety for Communities and Individuals
  • Ensuring both individual safety and community wellbeing requires commitment on both sides.

As you plan your career in public health, it is essential to know the three core functions. Consider where your role fits within this system: Would you like to:

Assess and investigate disease outbreaks, threats to health, and natural catastrophes.
For communities to be protected, how can we create programs and policies that are higher up?
Do you want to help your community learn about health matters and provide access to care?

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