'This Is Public Health' - a Comparison Between Old and New Public Health Systems in Australia Essay

Words: 1614
Pages: 7

As the term ‘health’ progresses to even more dynamic and ambiguous territories in the world today, health promotion and public health organisations have become increasingly important and prevalent in our society. As the World Health Organisation has tried to define health as ‘a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity’, it is obvious that health is viewed from many perspectives today and this can help explain the trends and shifts in public health as it tries to address a more modern and relevant set of determinates of health.

The determinates of health are the circumstances under which people live that can contribute to their health or ill health and can cause
…show more content…
This proactive, preventative system of change is a more effective way in treating obesity, rather than the old public health framework being reactive in a more case by case manner and usually in retrospect. This therefore showcases the new public health in action.

Not only evident in the action of primary schools, state and nation wide campaigns like the ‘Sun Smart’ campaign are being promoted throughout our population. Here we witness a collaboration of funding and ideas from the Cancer Council Victoria and Vic Health, aiming to promote a balance between the benefits and harms of ultraviolet radiation (Sun Smart Victoria, 2011). Exposure and education through the Sun Smart initiative have seen drastic results since their introduction in 1988. The comparison between people who have and have not grown up in a ‘sun smart’ environment is evident in the reduced cases of skin cancer in the under 40s age group. The program is estimated to have averted 28,000 disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs), equivalent to 22,000 life-years saved (Sun Smart Victoria, 2011). Vital new public health tools like communication, promotion and social and behavioural theory have successfully created a shift towards an environment that supports health by reducing the incidents of skin cancer in Victoria.

In terms of health promotion this natural progression to the new public health