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.


Sign up to our email newsletter to stay in touch with our news and updates