Prevention and population health
The health and wellbeing of Victorians is impacted by a range of factors beyond the healthcare system. These include environmental, social and economic factors. Income, employment, social status, early childhood development, education, the physical environment, food security, housing, social networks and access to services can all impact the health and wellbeing of populations.
Population health and prevention focuses on tackling these underlying causes of poor health and wellbeing to reduce risk factors and strengthen protective factors through a combination of whole of population and targeted approaches. It also aims to detect issues early and intervene before they can progress to more serious problems. At its heart is a focus on addressing inequities in health outcomes.
Prevention and population health concepts are increasingly being applied to other areas of social policy, including family violence, crime, child protection, homelessness and more.
About the Chief Preventive Health Officer
The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services' Chief Preventive Health Officer plays a key leadership role across the department and broader government. The role provides authoritative and strategic advice on issues related to prevention and population health to shape policies, programs and government directions.
The role of the Chief Preventive Health Officer is to:
- provide thought leadership and strategic advice to the Minster for Health and the department
- shape forward directions and strategies for prevention and population health to enhance the health and wellbeing of Victorians
- manage the delivery of primary preventive health, screening and early detection programs
- liaise, advise and negotiate with senior officers of the Commonwealth Government, Victorian Government departments, local government and non-government sector.
The Chief Preventive Health Officer is Dr Bruce Bolam.