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Public health professionals work for the welfare of the masses. They educate people about health issues and do so by designing policies that are enforced as laws to ensure the health and safety of people.
Health policy design includes the development and enactment of programs made to improve the quality of care of a large population—either at the state or national level. These policies keep people safe and healthy by encouraging the practice of certain things and often by avoiding specific behaviors.
If we take the example of COVID-19, the knowledge and tools of public health professionals helped produce several guidelines that became policies and were followed by people. This included screening and testing for the virus, contact tracing, regularly washing hands, and maintaining a distance of six feet. This led to a considerable decrease in the number of coronavirus-related medical cases and lessened the burden on the healthcare systems. Since COVID-19 highlighted the importance of qualified public health professionals in healthcare, a master’s in public health quickly became a sought-after degree.
More students with medical and life sciences backgrounds are now choosing an MPH degree to pursue higher education. Applying for further studies can be daunting if you don’t want to deal with entrance exams and other admission formalities. However, certain universities offer Masters Public Health no GRE requirement as well. You can easily apply to these colleges/universities by sending your documents and submitting the fees.
It’s no secret that public health professionals with advanced education are more capable of formulating better public health policies and play a crucial role in formulating public health-related policies in any country. These policies use theory and research for real-life application.
Here are some ways public health professionals help develop policies through their roles in the field;
Monitoring the Health of their Community in Real-Time
Public health professionals consistently collect data related to their community’s health. This data keeps track of the overall health of a population. Certain communities are more susceptible to disease than others. Public health specialists develop policies that help monitor the health status of these people to create highly specialized healthcare and treatment plans. Research and data collection also allow the government to better deal with sudden outbreaks or mass-reported incidents. For example, if a community has a higher incidence of heart disease, the public health sector can help develop policies to invest more in cardiology centers.
Identification of Health Issues in their Community
Public health professionals keep an eye on disease patterns and trends in their communities. Identification of the existing health issues in their communities is a crucial role of public health professionals. They identify bacterial or viral infectious diseases, any other health hazard, or an outbreak that can potentially become an epidemic in a community. They do a keen analysis and then share their findings with the concerned government department to take action. They can suggest precautions that become policies to deal with such emergencies.
Organizing Educational Programs
Public health professionals organize educational programs, especially in rural areas, to educate people about diseases and ways to stay safe. Basic training courses like first aid for emergencies are also common, and people are educated about prevention practices.
This not only keeps marginalized communities safe by lessening the chances of a disease outbreak but also equips them to deal with emergencies proactively.
Public health professionals also report to the government about why such educational programs are important. And the government sponsors these educational events to control preventable diseases. These educational policies lessen the burden on the healthcare system in the long run.
Lack of awareness can accelerate preventable diseases and can overburden the healthcare system of any country. One of the major roles of public health professionals is to create awareness about diseases in the masses. They do so by using mass media such as TV commercials, newspaper ads or conducting seminars and educational events at a smaller level. African countries have one of the best public health care systems in the world because of their battle with several epidemics. According to them, creating awareness is the first step to stopping the spread of disease. Public health professionals help develop policies to strengthen the healthcare workforce.
Optimizing the Healthcare System
Streamlining healthcare services to make them available for everyone equally is a vital role of public health professionals. Most underprivileged communities suffer from chronic illnesses due to limited access to healthcare services. Public health professionals collaborate with other private and public local healthcare providers to help these people.
Every community needs a specific number of doctors and proper infrastructure to curb diseases. Public health professionals introduce policies to streamline the healthcare systems and design policies to build adequate healthcare infrastructure. So that good healthcare is equally available for all.
Organizing Community Wellness Programs
Like educational events, community wellness programs to vaccinate people, distribute necessary medical supplies among them, and conduct general health surveys are crucial. Public health professionals devise policies that mandate the government to ensure the availability of life-saving drugs, essential vaccines, and other medical supplies.
Public health professionals also influence government officials to invest in research and policies to pursue scientific endeavors to save lives.
Identification of Potential Health Threats
Dealing with potential health threats like viral breakout, obesity, air pollution is a crucial role of public health professionals. The timely identification of these threats is important to find solutions and protect the community’s health. By introducing proper policies, dealing with potential threats also becomes easy. And more lives are saved. Public health specialists help identify the potential threat’s danger level, and guidelines are developed accordingly to deal with these threats.
Qualified public health professionals know the science behind health-related issues and are better equipped to understand these issues in their communities. Public health professionals consistently monitor the health status and disease trends in their communities and carefully assess the pros and cons of their decisions. As once they become health policies, they have the potential to impact the lives of millions of people both positively and negatively.
By Marlene Coleman
– is a passionate blogger who love to write on digital marketing, Business, technology, and finance related topics. Also, a reader and loves to share quality content prevalent on the web. She is a featured author at UpLearn.