Last, John M. Faculty of Health Sciences, School of Medicine/Epidemiology and Community Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
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An effort organized by society to protect, promote, and restore the people's health. Public health is the combination of sciences, skills, and beliefs that is directed to the maintenance and improvement of health through collective or social actions. The programs, services, and institutions of public health emphasize the prevention of disease and the health needs of the population as a whole (see illustration). Additional goals include the reduction of the amount of disease, premature death, disability, and discomfort in the population. See also: Disease; Medicine
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