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The public health system in England$
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David J. Hunter

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781847424631

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847424631.001.0001

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Public health and a public health system

Public health and a public health system

Chapter:
(p.17) TWO Public health and a public health system
Source:
The public health system in England
Author(s):

David J Hunter

Linda Marks

Katherine E Smith

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781847424631.003.0002

This chapter considers in more detail definitions of public health and how these in turn influence conceptions of a public health system. It does so in the light of the varying, and often contested, views and assumptions as to what public health is, what its guiding values are and who actually conducts public health. The latter is connected to a consideration of the debates surrounding what is an increasingly diverse and complex workforce employed by, and working in, a variety of organisations and institutional arrangements. Public health activities give rise to political and ethical tensions, which are reflected in debates over the boundaries of ‘stewardship’, defined as the collective responsibility that governments assume for protecting the health of their populations.

Keywords:   public health, institutional arrangements, public health system, population health

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