Aspects of Public Health
Public Health: “the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life, and promoting health through the organized efforts of society” – Sir Donald Acheson, Public Health in England, 1988. The health of the public has been a national concern for as long as there has been civilization. The reason for this is that when the public are generally unhealthy they cannot work as well and therefore that nation cannot advance socially, economically or intellectually, that is until a better standard of public health is established. Throughout the history of public health in the UK there have been huge changes in the quality of services provided by the government with the intent of improving the overall health of the general population, the earliest of this being the poor laws and work houses which were the most basic system imaginable, caring for the majority of those with no homes and no jobs. Then the Chadwick inquiry showed the effects of poverty and unsanitary conditions on public health, and this drove for the creation of board of health which governed all matters of cleanliness and sanitation, as well as regulating health care in different ways. Later when cholera had a large outbreak in Britain it was discovered by an epidemiologist that in a certain area the highest concentrations of people with the disease were those drinking water from pump coming from the river Thames. The epidemiologist then showed his evidence to the newly established board of health and they made it the responsibility of each constituencies council to ensure the water being to supplied to the public was wholesome and came from an uncontaminated source. The board of health carried on making changes for the better like this for a long time, such as making most health matters the responsibility of the local councils and introducing the sanitary health act enforcing this, ensuring that people would always be safe from the diseases caused by squalor. As well as giving...
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