Public health policy and practice that improves population health and reduces health inequalities are tPH goals. Translation of best available evidence into effective and efficient public health policy and practice is core IPH business.
Where people live affects their health. There are a number of elements of the living environment that influence health including the built environment, travel choices and the communities in which people live. The design, maintenance and location of buildings influence health. Similarly, public spaces and transport networks can facilitate health by providing opportunities for physical activity, social interaction and access to social goods.
IPH work supports the development of public policy designed to improve population health and reduce health inequalities on the island of Ireland. Our work influences policies directly related to health such as those being developed and led by the Department’s of Health and national health agencies North and South.
Health inequalities are preventable and unjust differences in health status experienced by certain population groups. People in lower socio-economic groups are more likely to experience chronic ill-health and die earlier than those who are more advantaged. Health inequalities are not only apparent between people of different socio-economic groups – they exist between different genders and different ethnic groups.
Preventing disease and injury is key to improving health. When we invest in prevention, the benefits are broadly shared. Children grow up in communities, homes and families that nurture their healthy development and people are productive and healthy both inside and outside the workplace. Businesses benefit because a healthier workforce reduces long-term health care costs and increases stability and productivity. Communities that offer a healthy, productive, stable workforce can be more attractive places for families to live and businesses to locate.