Laws in Health Care

Essay by chris6878College, Undergraduate July 2009

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What is public health care and why do we need it? There is no clear definition of what public health care truly is, but many have made attempts to define the basic concepts that identify what public health care is and why we need it. Two of the most noted definitions of public health were developed by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and Winslow, who base the definition of public health on what public health actually does and how it performs its functions:"…the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life, and promoting health and efficiency through organized community effort for the sanitation of the environment, the control of communicable infections, the education of the individual in personal hygiene, the organization of medical and nursing services for the early diagnosis and preventive treatment of disease, and for the development of the social machinery to insure everyone a standard of living adequate for the maintenance of health, so organizing these benefits as to enable every citizen to realize his birthright of health and longevity."

(Turnock, 2007)There have been other definitions of public health, but none have gained as much recognition than the definitions provided by Winslow and the Institute of Medicine. Considering that the definition of public health has been quite difficult to define, the laws that govern the system must be extensive, but they also must be interpretable so that each local public health agency can adjust them to better suit their mission.

The Centers for Law and the Public's Health (2008), in collaboration with Johns Hopkins and Georgetown Universities, have developed programs to help promote and implement the laws that govern public health. There are four Model Laws that the Centers for Law and Public Health help to implement: The Turning Point Model State Health Act (MSPHA), The Uniform...