Provincial Government Releases Public Health Framework
September 21, 2023
As part of Well-Being Week, the Department of Health and Community Services has released the Public Health Framework for Newfoundland and Labrador, which lays out the essential functions of public health, such as:
- Health protection,
- Disease and injury prevention;
- Health promotion;
- Health surveillance and population health assessment; and
- Emergency preparedness and response.
To provide these functions, public health will act through six core programs, identified by the framework as:
- Communicable disease prevention and control;
- Population health assessment, surveillance and epidemiology;
- Growth and development in the early years;
- Environmental public health;
- Health promotion and non-communicable disease and injury prevention; and
- Health emergency management.
Additionally, the department is exploring processes that can be used to aid a Health-in-All-Policies approach as recommended in Health Accord NL and enshrined in the Public Health Protection and Promotion Act.
Health-in-All-Policies recognizes that the health of the population is not merely a product of health sector programs, but is also determined by numerous government policies. Policies in every department can potentially affect health, so implications for health must be embedded in policy development. The approach will require that all policies developed by government departments consider the determinants of health to improve the health of residents in Newfoundland and Labrador.
These actions are part of government’s commitment to transform the province’s health by improving the social determinants of health and access to quality health care. Other initiatives include establishing Family Care Teams, expanding the travelling orthopaedic clinics, and introducing mobile clinics.
“The Public Health Framework and Health-in-All-Policies approach provide government with complimentary roadmaps to ensure policies and initiatives have a beneficial or neutral impact on the determinants of health. We are proud to be one of the first provinces in Canada to move forward with a Health-in-All-Policies approach. This approach will allow government to address policies, including those related to transportation, housing, land use planning, the environment, education, agriculture, finance, and economic development to ensure they have a beneficial or neutral impact on the determinants of health.”
Honourable Tom Osborne
Minister of Health and Community Services
“The Public Health Division in the Department of Health and Community Services is proud to present the province’s first Public Health Framework. To support the health of the population, we aim to protect and promote health and well-being, to prevent disease and disability, to eliminate conditions that harm health, and to affect the social determinants that can influence health to achieve our vision of healthy, vibrant, resilient communities throughout Newfoundland and Labrador.”
Dr. Janice Fitzgerald
Chief Medical Officer of Health
Public Health Framework
Health Accord NL