What is the “New Public Health”?
© BioMed Central London 2010
Published: 11 June 2010
The New Public Health is a contemporary application of a broad range of evidencebased scientific, technological, and management systems implementing measures to improve the health of individuals and populations. Its main objectives are the political and practical application of lessons learned from past successes and failures in disease control and the promotion of preventive measures to combat existing, evolving and re-emerging health threats and risks. We address present and anticipated health problems in a complex world with great inequalities with specific targets which would help to achieve higher standards of health and a more just and socially responsible distribution of resources.
We present some examples of achievements in public health and clinical medicine, particularly from the past half century, that have resulted in improved disease control and increased health and longevity for populations. Many remaining challenges must be overcome in order to reduce the toll of avoidable morbidity and mortality and to achieve improved and equitable health nationally and internationally. The tools at our disposal today are much more effective than they were even just ten years ago. Promoting wider application of these tools and greater awareness of achievements and failures in public health will improve our capacity to affect greater change in population health in the future.
The New Public Health is a moving target, as the science and practice of public health grow in strength. It is relevant to all countries, developing, transitional, or industrialized, all facing different combinations of epidemiologic, demographic, economic and health systems challenges. A greater understanding of these issues is vital to both a European and a wider audience of policy makers, educators, students, health systems managers, and practitioners of public health to address these challenges.