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The Public Health

  1. The Public Health Service originated in 1798 as the Marine Hospital Service. Identify two (2) motivating factors that prompted that development.

The 17th century is considered the age of journey, when not only states were perpetually attempting to expand their borders (colonial expansion) and influence thorough military and diplomatic means, but also it was the time when people, belonging to different cultures/civilizations, were leaving their ancestral homes for better opportunities. This was particularly true for the European nations and populations.

As more military contingents were leaving and returning from the country to new and sensitive (medically) locations, the chances of catching a disease, were higher. Therefore, the government of United States sanctioned various Marine Hospitals providing services to against the spread of disease. Also, these marine hospitals were also in-charge of maintaining the health of immigrants, which were entering the United States.

Therefore, the two motivating factors were to stop the spread of disease, in coastal areas and to maintain the health of immigrants that were entering the United States. As the time progressed, the role, of The Public Health Service, augmented and services diversified (USPHS, 2016).

2. Why, in the 1960s, were the health-related programs of Medicare, Medicaid, and Neighborhood Health Centers assigned to non-health federal agencies instead of the Public Health Service? Please provide two (2) examples.

The health-related programs, which were initiated in the 1960s, were the direct result of Civil Rights Movement. One of the core concerns, of Civil Rights Leadership, was the limited access, of Black Americans, to the quality health services. Therefore, during the Civil Rights Movement, the leaders were not only demanding equal social and economic opportunities, but also equal access to quality services, at a very low cost. Therefore, the government initiated these health programs to meet the popular demand of that time. However, we learn that health-related programs, such as Medicare, Medicaid and Neighborhood Health Centers, were established (in the 60s) were not assigned to Public Health Service, but instead, it was assigned to non-health federal agencies. They provide two reasons for such measure; one was that this measure was not entirely medical, but also political, as it aimed to provide quality services, to the certain segment of society at a very low cost (subsidy). Second, it also included medical+ (plus) services, which Public Health Service was not able to provide at that time, as it had not evolved enough (Takach, 2008).

 3. Public health efforts and those of private medicine complement each other and together serve the spectrum of health service needs of American society. Why, then, has their relationship been sometimes contentious and have they not consistently worked together proactively to improve the health status of Americans? Please provide two (2) examples.

Private Health Care or Private Medicine services are provided by independent entities, which earn a profit by providing these services. On the contrary, Public Health Service is provided by the state through its health institutions, by an allocation of resources, both financial and human. It is assumed that both services coordinate, spontaneously, to serve the country. For instance, Public Health Service provides affordable health services to that segment of society, which has strong income constraints, whereas private medicine provides the best quality services to that segment of society, which can afford high-class medical services. However, sometimes the relation between two is contentious, because of the economic reasons. As it is, the fact that Private Medicine provides services to earn the profit and its profit is directly linked to market share. Therefore, whenever, Public Health provides a certain medical service, at the affordable price, it shrinks the market share of Private Medicine. The second reason is that private medicine perpetually strives to increase its market share, which is why it cannot proactively work with Public Health (Economist, 2013).

3. Contrast the population-based orientation of public health with the individual-centered focus of private health practitioners. Provide two (2) examples.
Public Health is designed to serve the masses, which means it is created to address the medical issues and challenges, which are faced by the general public. The reason for this is that public health services are provided by the revenue, collected in the form of taxes, by general public. Therefore, the orientation is population based. Also, when resources are being provided at a macro scale, the orientation naturally becomes mass-oriented.

Private Health practitioners though provide quality health services. Therefore, they have limited resources and that is why they are the individual-centered focus (client-oriented).  Therefore, the two reasons are (1) availability of resources (Access and Scale) and (2) the organizational design or structure.
4. Deaths in the United States that result from preventable causes total approximately 40% of all deaths each year. Deaths result from tobacco use, poor dietary habits, and sedentary lifestyles. What additional two (2) actions should/could the U.S. health care system use to combat the factors that contribute to preventable deaths or incentivize more healthy living lifestyles among the most at-risk populations?

Because of the advances, in the realm of medical science, not only we can cure diseases and prevent their outbreaks, but also average lifetime, of a human, has also increased. The improvement in medicine has facilitated humans to live a long and health life, and because of better medical technology, complicated health matters can be addressed by using fewer resources.

However, statistics reveal that in a developed country, like the United States, 40% of the total population, die from preventable diseases. Preventable diseases are such diseases that can be prevented by prevention and use of medicine. However, large numbers of Americans die because of the factors, which cause preventable disease.

Two Actions

  • The government can increase the awareness, through its various means, regarding the preventable diseases and their causes.
  • Also, the government can be devised policies, which can regulate the health-related behavior of the mass population, such as heavily taxing tobacco products. 


Economist. (2013). Going public, and private. Retrieved October 31, 31, from The Economist: http://www.economist.com/news/business/21591858-fuss-over-obamacares-teething-troubles-obscuring-bigger-story-investors-american

Takach, M. (2008). Federal Community Health Centers and State Health Policy:A Primer for Policy Makers. National Academy for State Health Policy , 1-22.

USPHS. (2016, October 31). HISTORY. Retrieved from United States Public Health Service: http://www.usphs.gov/aboutus/history.aspx

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