Canadian Public Health: Promoting Well-Being Through Policy and Research

Health, as defined by the World Health Organization, is an “approximate condition of health arising from the full stature of the body, including an ability to survive exposure to a wide range of environments.” A number of definitions have also been used over the years for various medical purposes. While the definition may vary from one culture to another, there are some common trends. The primary focus of this article is to provide a basic overview of the way health is viewed in North America.


First, as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), “public health is the practice of preventing the condition of public health.” Second, a primary focus of public health is to reduce health-related risks and improve the quality of life. This includes the prevention of diseases, improvement of the population’s health, maintenance of health, enhancement of the economy, development of resources, and promotion of services and policies that promote health. The United States has extensive programs that are designed to achieve these goals through the implementation of public health principles. One can speak of national health, state health, and local health.

In Canada, the focus on health and well-being revolves around the promotion of healthy practices and the promotion of responsible behavior, as well as responsibility for personal and community health. It is important to note that public health is a national initiative; however, different provinces within Canada have their own unique approaches as well as different strategies for promoting healthy living. In addition, Canadian provinces have developed a very well-designed system of publicly funded programs that promote healthy living and take a comprehensive approach to improving the health of Canadian families, individuals, and communities. These include support services to support healthy behaviors, support services that promote healthy food choices and the education of healthy behaviors and physical activity. In addition, public programs help to identify and address gaps and concerns about health, such as those related to inadequate or inefficient health care, substance abuse and tobacco control, the prevention of drug use and the treatment of drug users, and violence and mental health.

Canada’s public health system is characterized by well-developed systems that cover all areas of health, including mental health, dental care, home and community health, prevention of disease, nutrition, family health, and the well-being of babies, children, women, and men. For those who are not covered by a province’s health program, there are a variety of other resources that offer support services in order to improve health status and the quality of life. These include organizations that provide information, advice, advocacy, and referrals to help people live healthy lives. They also include registered nurses who provide necessary medical assistance when needed, and special programs that focus on young people, aboriginal groups, and at risk individuals.

Canada’s national plan for health promotion is called the Health Canada Plan. It was developed in response to the re-emergence of the country’s health issues in the mid-1990s. The plan sets out the objectives that each sector of the health service must work towards in order to meet the goals and objectives of the overall health plan as a whole. In addition to this, the plan sets out national guidelines on important issues such as population management, maternal and newborn health, substance abuse and the development of communities and their environment. There are also several national programs that provide funding for research, training and development, and public health initiatives. All of these activities are designed to contribute to Canada’s overall strength in the public health arena.

Canada’s National Health Service has developed many innovative programs to enhance health promotion, while maintaining quality care. For example, the Maternal Health Program encourages pregnant women to take pride in their health and to ensure that their children are well-protected. The Immunization Program works to keep families healthy by ensuring that everyone has the proper immunizations required to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Similarly, the Drugs While Working program helps doctors treat patients with known addictive drugs. These programs are ongoing efforts to promote well-being in all of the Canadian communities.