Public Health in Canada
Illness and disease are communal problems. While individual interventions can have an impact, they are less effective than measures that can be done at a community level. Preventing disease and promoting health among individuals and the population at large is the purpose of public health. Public health is managed by local, regional, national and international public health authorities. Public health interventions include research, prevention, education and emergency preparedness. The most important public health interventions for reducing mortality over the past 150 years have included cleaning the water and air, making roads safer and immunizing against infectious diseases. Ironically, as is often said by public health practitioners, success in public health is often invisible when measures are working. In Canada, the rapid emergence, urgency, severity, global scope and long persistence of the COVID-19 pandemic has put all aspects of public health in the public and political spotlight to a greater degree than ever before. For some Canadians, this has resulted in a loss of confidence in public health authorities, while others have realized the importance of maintaining and funding public health. This is the full-length entry about Public Health in Canada. For a plain-language summary, please see Public Health in Canada (Plain-Language Summary).