Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Maximizing the contribution of the public health workforce: the English experience

F Sim, K Lock, M McKee

Volume 85, Number 12, December 2007, 935-940

Table 1. Examples of the wider public health workforce

Sector Who Contribution What they are doing now
Politics National – finance ministerLocal government –e.g. mayor Taxation; other regulationLocal regulation TaxationSmoke-free public places in some countries
Retail industry ManufacturerRetailer Diversification to less unhealthy productsContent specification; pricing policy, product placement Highly regulated retail sector – variable compliance (e.g. under-age shoppers)Variable compliance with voluntary agreements
Hospitality industry HairdresserRestaurateur Health promotion adviceNon-smoking environmentNon-smoking environmentHealthy food options Basic hygiene practiceEnvironmental regulation complianceRelatively scarce involvement in health promotion beyond hygiene
Health care Doctors, pharmacists, dentists and others Opportunistic evidence-based health improvement advice in context of patient’s condition Variable engagement with health improvement role
Child education Care-givers, teachers, head teachers, governors in nurseries, schools Use opportunities to influence behaviour – integrating health into teaching curriculum – e.g. sport, geography, history, economics Occasional public health champions
Mass media Journalist Balanced, evidence-based programmes, articles Variable degrees of responsible practice
Nongovernmental organizations Community workers, working with minority communities, hard-to-reach groups Health-oriented interventions – e.g. in language teaching and family welfare advice Variable, dependant upon public health competence of workforce
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