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This subject is a compulsory subject within the Master of Speech Pathology. It provides a critical overview of public health historical development, conceptual underpinnings and practice in the following domains.
History and distinguishing features of public health and population health
The historical development of public health is traced. The distinguishing features of public health, emphasising the health of groups and populations rather than a focus on the health of an individual, are presented and explored. Key points of transition in the health of populations over time are identified. The scientific disciplines that make up the toolbox of modern population health are described.
Determinants of the health of individuals, groups and populations
Determinants of health affecting the health of individuals, and populations are identified, recognising that social determinants work in concert with environmental and biological factors. The health of indigenous people in Australia is examined and resources provided to assist in understanding common influences on the health of indigenous people world-wide. The increasing importance of health and human rights locally and globally is discussed, including an examination of the ethical frameworks relevant to public health practice.
Strategies and Systems
Major strategies and approaches to public health including health protection, health improvement and health care quality assessment are presented, with illustrations from local and international experience. The elements and function of health systems are defined and the roles of principal public health agencies internationally and nationally are described.
Achievements and challenges
The significant achievements in public health from the late 20th century through to the 21st century are identified and emerging challenges and possible solutions are explored, including in relation to indigenous populations.
Intended learning outcomes
At the completion of this course students should be able to:
- Describe the principal population-based approaches to health and distinguish them from individual-based approaches.
- Discuss the historical development of population-based concepts and organised approaches to health and how this has influenced current health services.
- Describe how the organised, population-based approaches to health are applied in a number of wealthy and developing countries.
- Critically examine how the factors affecting the application of organised population-based approaches to health differ in these various wealthy and developing countries
- Describe the concept of priority setting with which governments and societies must engage to most improve the health of their citizens with the funds and resources that are available
- Apply the concept of priority setting to a specified health area in a setting of constrained resources.
On completion of this subject students should have:
- well developed problem solving skills
- an ability to evaluate and synthesise information in a flexible manner
- a capacity to articulate the knowledge gained in both oral and written
Last updated: 6 December 2019