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HLTH 101 Study Guide - Final Guide: Population Health, Escherichia Coli, Musical ChairsPremium

Health Studies
Course Code
HLTH 101
Elaine Power
Study Guide

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HLTH 101 Lecture 2 Introduction to Public Health
Key Questions of Focus:
1. What is Public Health?
2. What is ideology?
Main Goal: Tries to improve the health status of the population by reducing disease and early
(preventable) deaths in populations
It recognizes the importance of individual contributions to injury & disease but more interested in
understanding how to reduce of alleviate hazards by addressing underlying causes (i.e.
“upstream” not “downstream” decisions)
Walkerton Tragedy - May 2000 - E.coli contaminated water > resulted in 7 deaths, 2500 ill
with long-term health effects
- Incompetent manager & staff at Walkerton Public Utilities Commission
- Privatization of water-testing facilities (resulted in long delays)
- No provincial regulation of water quality & lack of enforcement of regulations
- The “patient” is the population, and “statistical” lives are saved through prevention
- Health benefits to the population is not the same as health benefits to the individual
- Collective enterprise > requires a strong state (government) that is willing to act and able to
put health-related legislation into effect and enforces it
- The purpose of medicine is to cure disease, promote health, and extend life on an individual
basis (downstream aspect of saving lives)
- The purpose of public health is to promote health and extend longevity at the population
level through prevention (upstream aspect of saving lives)
“The good that we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us
and incorporated into our common life.”

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A relatively coherent system of values, beliefs, or ideas shared by some social group and often
taken for granted as natural or inherently true.
The consciously shared ideas and beliefs that members of a society have about themselves and
the world around them.
How we understand the world in which we live
Three primary families of ideology
1. Collectivist (Communitarian) & Socialist (Social Democratic) Ideology:
Emphasis on…
- Role of the state (government) as a principal means of social improvement
- Limits the effects of capitalism
- “Positive” liberty (freedom “to do” things - state ensures basic needs (income, education)
enabling citizens to fully participate in society
KEY WORDS: egalitarianism, (in)equality, (in)equity, humanitarianism, social justice, social
responsibility, collective or common or public good(s), interdependence, interconnection, mutual
obligation, community compassion
2. Liberal Individualist of Neoliberal Ideology
Emphasis on…
- The role of the market in promoting individual freedom; social goods are secondary
- You are on your own; very minimal help from the government
- There is great competition for resources
- “Negative” liberty (freedom “from” interference in my life)
KEY WORDS: Freedom, self-determination, self-discipline, personal responsibility, limited
government, tax cuts, consumer choice, the market (where things are bought/sold)
3. Environmental and Green Ideology
Emphasis on…
- Interconnectedness of humans, human health and the environment
- Destructiveness of economic growth at all costs; indifference of the state to the
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