Essay about Healthy Public Policy
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Healthy Public Policy
(a) A Policy is a set of basic principles and guidelines that are formulated and enforced by a body in an organization with the aim of limiting actions to pursue the goals and objectives of an organization. Health policy can be defined as actions or decisions that are undertaken for achievement of specific health care goals in the society while healthy public policy is a policy of health promotion that is characterized by equity and health in all areas of policy. The aim of healthy public policy is to create a supportive environment for people to lead healthy lives (Politis, Halligan, Keen & Kerner, 2014).
(b) Policies are important in the public health as they reflect on its role and shape the activities such as health promotion. The policies in public health are also important in maintaining the standards of ethics in practice. Additionally, policies in public health are important tools for improving health. They help in determining the health priorities and the appropriate intervention plans.
(c)‘Health in all policies’ is an approach to public policy across all sectors that take into account all the health implications of the actions and decisions by seeking synergies and avoiding harmful health impacts (Gustafsson, 2013). It is an important approach to public health policy as it contributes to sustainable development, and includes a clear emphasis on the effects of public health policies (Fox, 2014). Besides, ‘Health in all policies’ improves the accountability of policy makers for the impacts of the policies. Some of the challenges in the implementation of health in all policies include the difficulties in connecting all sectors to common health goals (Fletcher, 2013). Besides, communities have different health issues driven by factors outside public health. Addressing complex challenges may require a lot of funds (Kickbusch, 2013).
(d) According to CPHA, some of the harms associated with the use of alcohol in Canada include social disruptions, chronic diseases, trauma, and social costs. The social costs results from the burden of illness to the society caused by alcohol related cases. The most vulnerable population is the youth who engage in alcohol because of their desire to explore. The social media and other marketing strategies by the alcohol companies are trapping the youth to engage in the behavior.
(e) The intervention of implementing alcohol pricing policies is an intervention of restricting choice as it reduces alcohol intake through the introduction of taxes. The intervention of controlling the physical and legal availability is also a restricting choice as reducing the availability of alcohol limits choice (CPHA, 2011). Curtailing alcohol marketing is guiding choice through disincentives as it reduces the popularity of alcohol among the population. Regulating and monitoring alcohol control systems is the elimination of choice through regulation. Additionally, countering drinking and driving are enabling choice as a person has already been allowed to take alcohol but not to drive. Changing the drinking context is a form of providing information for minimizing but not preventing alcohol intake (Giesbrecht, Stockwell, Kendall, Strang & Thomas, 2011). Educating and promoting behavior change is providing information to the public to change their perceptions towards alcohol intake. In addition, increasing access to screening and brief interventions is guiding through changing the default. Surveillance and research can be classified too, as guiding through changing default as it identifies strategies to reduce alcohol harm. The knowledge exchange and skill building intervention can be classified as providing information as it equips people with the knowledge of alcohol harms to limit intake (CPHA, 2011).
(f) The interventions that can have a great population impact include the curtailing of alcohol marketing, educating and promoting behavior change, and regulating and monitoring alcohol control systems. These interventions are preventive measures rather than the ones that focus on solving the problem after people have already consumed alcohol. They serve to prevent or reduce alcohol intake among the population (CPHA, 2011).
- Health Promotion
(a) The health promotion program selected in this case is theAboriginal Diabetes Initiative to promote the prevention of diabetes mellitus type II.It is a concern in the Canada’s first nation and Inuit(Health Canada, 2013). The rate of diabetes infection was three to five times higher than other Canadians triggering the formation of the initiative to deal with the issue. The aboriginal initiative was designed in 1999 with initial funding of $58 million to operate in three phases in supporting health promotion and activities for prevention of diabetes. It was funded by the Canadian government(Kirk, Tomm-Bonde & Schreiber, 2014). The main aim of the initiative was promoting primary prevention activities by health care providers and community diabetes workers to reduce the cases of type II diabetes among the Aboriginal people. The activities included early screening, care management initiatives, and health education that creates awareness of diabetes prevention. The education emphasized on diet and physical activity and weight management(Low & Theriault, 2008).
(b) Health promotion is the process of enabling people to increase control over their health by moving beyond the focus on individual behavior towards a wide range of environmental and social interventions (WHO, 2015). It helps people strive to achieve optimal health through preventive activities and lifestyle change. The Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative fits the definition by focusing on activities such as screening and health education to the public to prevent diabetes infection. It involves lifestyle change and taking care of individual health(O’Neill, 2000).
(c) The Ottawa charter for health promotion was the firstinternational conference on health promotion addressing the growing need for public health movement around the globe(WHO, 2015). The aim of the charter was to find an action plan for achieving the objectives of the world health organization. The charter emphasized on health promotion principles and practices such as building healthyalliances, bridging the equity gap, healthy public policy, and supportive environments(WHO, 2015). The Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative fits in the charter especially in the area of healthy public policy and creation of a supportive environment. The charter addresses three strategies for health promotion, i.e.Advocate, enable, and mediate. Similarly, theinitiative aims at promoting health by advocating for change in lifestyles. The environmental and biological factors also favor prevention of diabetes mellitus type II. Besides, the initiative aims to develop personal skills among the population to take care of their health(Politis, Halligan, Keen & Kerner, 2014).
(d) If Iwererunning this program and continued funding was dependent on the perceived value of the program, I would address the current public health issue as the evidence. There was an increase in the cases of diabetes type II among the Aboriginal population compared to other Canadians. Therefore, the initiative is valuable to equip them with diabetes prevention skills and knowledge as well as the early intervention to manage the cases(Ståhl, 2006). The population should understand the importance of weight management, physical activity, and the right dietary intake to prevent such cases(Potter, 2000).
(e) The target audience for the participation of the Aboriginal DiabetesInitiative is the Aboriginal population. There was a notable increasein the number of cases of diabetes type II among the population, hence the target for the initiative. It is a population-based approach to reducing the cases through health education and awareness campaigns withthe use of health care providers and diabetes community workers(Politis, Halligan, Keen & Kerner, 2014). Some of the strengths of the approach include the ability to reduce illness in the whole population by tackling the condition in the early stages. A small change in the risk factors of diabetes can result in improvement of health and reduction of diabetes among the population by using the approach. However, the approach has some limitations in that risk of intervention can outweigh the small benefit(Potter, 2000). Additionally, intervention for healthy populations can sometimes be considered unacceptable in a liberal society(Low & Theriault, 2008).
(f)Some of the barriers to the success of the initiative include cultural barriers that can hinder the target population from accepting the proposed changes to prevent diabetes such as physical activity to manage their weight. The failure of the government to continue supporting the initiative through funding can be a barrier to its success(Green, 2002). However, some of the enablers include community participation in the awareness campaigns, government funding, and support from other stakeholders such as health agencies and non-governmental organizations. The desired outcomes can be achieved by cooperation of the population in the initiative.
CPHA. (2011). CPHA position paper. A Public Health Approach to Alcohol Policy in Canada. Retrieved 23 April 2015, from http://www.cpha.ca/uploads/positions/position-paper-alcohol_e.pdf
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