Public Health Physicians: Protecting, Promoting and Improving Health for the Whole Community

Date published:
08 Mar 2021

The Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine (AFPHM) is pleased to launch a new document titled ‘Public Health Physicians: Protecting, Promoting and Improving Health for the Whole Community’.

This document articulates the value of public health physicians, credentialled as Fellows of the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine (FAFPHMs), to the contemporary public health workforce and their capacity to contribute to the broader health system. It is intended to inform health system decision-makers in their strategic and workforce planning by describing the skills, expertise and roles of public health physicians.

The document highlights that public health physicians ensure effective leadership, advocacy and better health outcomes by articulating that:

  • public health physicians are medical specialists with a duty of care for populations rather than individuals
  • public health physicians are trained to solve complex health problems, make sound evidence-based decisions at a systems-level and lead complex change management including health promotion and disease prevention, systems reform, strategic planning, and performance monitoring required to meet heath needs
  • public health physicians lead policy reforms and interventions to transform population health in ways that are evidence-based and cost-effective
  • protection of public health is a key role of government and Public Health Physicians work across government portfolios.

The document clearly outlines the broad range of training, expertise and impact of public health physicians, including their unique skills in:

  • leading, collaborating and finding solutions for complex population health challenges
  • supporting populations and health systems
  • integrating medical and public health expertise
  • creating and leading evidence-based health systems and public health interventions
  • ensuring equity in health policies
  • statutory health protection and disease prevention.

AFPHM members are encouraged to promote and circulate this document to their networks and within their workplaces.

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