Public health services and programs

Alberta Health Services is responsible for delivering public health services and programs to meet the needs of Albertans.

Overview of public health programs

Public health programs address the social, economic, and environmental factors that affect health. There are 4 major aspects to public health:

  1. Health surveillance – monitoring the health status of the population and providing information for planning, implementing and evaluating health strategies;
  2. Health protection – identifying, reducing and eliminating hazards and risks to the health of individuals in the community, including those posed by communicable diseases and food-borne, drug and environmental hazards;
  3. Disease and injury prevention – providing appropriate information and early intervention services to prevent the onset of disease and injury; and 
  4. Health promotion – enabling healthy choices and developing healthy and supportive environments.

Alberta's Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health provides direction and guidelines on public health policy to Alberta Health Services, and gives information to the public about communicable diseases and public health programs.

Alberta Health also provides advice and recommendations on Environmental Impact Assessments to help ensure that new industrial developments don't cause environmental hazards that would affect the health of Albertans. In Addition, ongoing health surveillance and community assessments are also used to monitor and protect the health of Albertans and their communities.