What is a population health approach?
Public health takes a population health approach, which places a greater emphasis on community health including:
- The population as a whole
- The role of the community
- Health promotion and preventative care, and
- The need to involve a range of professionals
Population Health: the determinants of health
A population health approach also takes into account all factors that determine a
person’s health and wellbeing, and it plans how these factors can be addressed.
These factors are called the determinants of health and include:
- Peace, shelter and food
- Education and sufficient income
- A stable eco-system
- Sustainable resource use
- Social justice and equity, etc
Traditionally, a population health approach has been a public health focus. More
recently. However, the Primary Health Care Strategy set a new direction for primary
health care, which traditionally provided treatment services focusing on individuals,
not communities or populations.
A new direction for primary health care services
Primary health care services are now to focus on better public health for a population and actively work to reduce health inequalities between different groups.
There is now a clearer interface between public health and primary health care and a closer alignment in their overarching priorities.