The responsibility of local health departments is to protect and promote health, prevent illness and injury. Public health services are population-centered – that is, services that are focused on improving people’s health status, as opposed to primary care providers, who respond to treatment of particular individuals.
To accomplish this mission, public health departments balance the three public health functions of the central government. These three functions are essential for maintaining population-centered services.
THE 3 CENTRAL FUNCTIONS OF PUBLIC HEALTH
- Assessment of health needs in the community.
Its objective is to collect, gather and make available to the people, information related to the public health status in a community, in cooperation with others, including statistics on health status, health needs in the community, health environmental, epidemiology, and other studies on problems related to the field of health.
- Investigate the occurrence of health hazards and their effects within the community.
Its objective is to develop, in collaboration with other institutions in the area, in as much detail as possible, all the information related to this health problem, as well as its magnitude, duration, trend, location, a population at risk, and on which would be the best how to proceed to prevent or control it.
- Analyze the determinants of identified health needs.
This is the process through which the etiology, risk, and factors that precede and contribute to a specific health problem or to reduce the current state of the community are examined. Identifying these factors helps to work with the community to plan intervention efforts to prevent or control.
2. DEVELOPMENT POLICY
- Defend public health, build constituencies, and identify community sources.
This is the process of generating support through constituent groups that address the needs and issues of health in the community, establishing collaborative relationships between a public health agency and public services, the governing body it represents, and others. health-related organizations and people within the community.
- Prioritize health needs.
To facilitate the progress of the community towards a wide range of health needs, it is necessary to know its importance, the magnitude, the seriousness of its consequences, economic impact, and the community’s disposition or ability to prevent or control the problem.
- Plan and develop policies to address the most important health needs.
This is the process by which agencies, in conjunction with community constituents and other groups, facilitate the formulation of objectives to meet the most relevant needs of the community, identifying a course of action to achieve them in a way that encourages the development of the community and its autonomy, being sensitive to local needs.
- Manage the sources and development of the organizational structure.
To acquire, assign influences, sources (people, institutions, and equipment) and encourage or train them to meet the most important health needs for the community in the best possible way.
- Implement programs.
Work with other organizations, agencies, and individuals to ensure the implementation of programs in the community that addresses the priorities. Work with the community to change policy, practice, and more.
- Evaluates programs and provides quality assurance.
This is a process that requires continuity to determine the efficiency and effectiveness of efforts so corrections can be made to improve activities and results.
- Inform and educate the public.
This is the process of informing the community about health problems, the availability of services; gaining the attention of individuals, high-risk groups, and constituencies related to public health issues. Provides health education to help develop beliefs, attitudes, and skills that lead to good individual and collective health.