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Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Lucky 13 - welcome the New Public Health year

2012 was a year like any other.   For this writer, it represented the twenty-second year of public health practice and thirty-first year as a health professional.  Oh the stories that could be told. 

The outbreaks that in the early days were a challenge to identify they even happened, and then minimal interest in detailed investigation or control.  Diseases that today are rare and emergencies, were just one of several foci of routine attention.   The immunization schedule has grown from a paltry handful of vaccines to the robust fourteen and a half antigens that are routinely included in immunization schedules (HPV getting a ½ vote for its gender specificity). 

It is time to review the year and look forward to lucky 13.  

One hundred and forty-eight posts.  Such is the pace of public health and the morphing of issues.  Expect a few less this upcoming year, twice a week will be the goal.  DrPHealth set out to score 10,000 views, and wound up just over 11,000.  Perhaps a lofty target at the onset. 

The pattern of readership continues to change with more followers and those that receive by email which are harder to track and not counted in the views.  Previously it was clear that viewership was highest during Canadian work hours.   Sixty per cent of total readership remains Canadian, but lately, the majority have been readers from Russia and the United States, skewed perhaps by two postings; More health care doesn't mean better health and Taxation and the fiscal cliff.  

The single heaviest visited site posting being on The Obscenity of fracking, followed by interest in Telehealth, electronic health records, and Cost of Poverty. Single issue odd postings get spikes in traffic such as Fracking,  Hookah pipes , and Smart meters.  Many of the core Canadian public health issues get relatively scant traffic. 

Last year DrPHealth posted a list of resolutions for public health workers – they are worth repeating:  First to assess how well did you do in 2012, Second to ask you how well did DrPHealth do? and third to reaffirm their value for 2013:

1.             Advocate for policies that specifically reduce income disparities as it is the major modifiable driving force for poorer health.
2.             Ask frequently the question, how will this service/policy/action improve the health of our children and future generation?
3.             View the world that our grandchildren will inherit and the threats caused by Climate Change, Contamination, Consumption of non-renewable resources and Consumerism. 
4.             Be a constant reminder of the prosperity we enjoy and the challenge so many others of our global neighbours face in accessing the minimum prerequisites for health of peace, shelter, education, food, income, stable eco-system, sustainable resources, social justice and equity.
5.             Support the adoption of healthier lifestyles in at least the major risk behaviours of tobacco use, alcohol consumption, poorer nutrition and sedentary lifestyle.
6.             Recognize the value of our current health care system, and constantly ask what is the added value to the health of the population of the resources we are about to expend.
7.             Encourage frequently that the solution to sustainability of our health system, is to prevent the need to utilize the health care services in the first place.
8.             Put safety and injury reduction on the agendas of those that can make safer choices
9.             Argue for incorporation of culturally appropriate approaches to improve health and reduce the existing disparity.
10.          Ensure sexism, ageism, racism, or other non-modifiable characteristics are exorcised from the places we live, work and play.   
11.          Promote tolerance of the diversity of individuals in our society including those with addictions, mental health disorders, disabilities and living street oriented lifestyles and others  
12.          Support the adoption of services that reduce harm for those who engage in unhealthy practices.  

May 2013 bring health, peace and happiness to your home, office and places you play. 

1 comment:

  1. Good reminder of your excellent summary of how we can work better. Thanks Dr. P.