Public Health Medicine Specialist

Public Health Medicine PhysiciansPublic Health Medicine is a medical speciality similar to all other clinical specialities in South Africa and recognised by the College of Medicine and the Health Professional Council of South Africa.

Public Health & Preventive Medicine is a branch of medicine concerned with the health of populations. The Public Health & Preventive Medicine specialist uses population health knowledge and skills to play leading and collaborative roles in the maintenance and improvement of the health and well-being of the community. Through interdisciplinary and inter-sectoral partnerships, the Public Health & Preventive Medicine specialist measures the health needs of populations and develops strategies for improving health and well-being, through health promotion, disease prevention and health protection.

The Public Health & Preventive Medicine specialist demonstrates skills in leadership, development of public policy, and the design, implementation and evaluation of health programs, and applies them to a broad range of community health issues.

Public Health Medicine specialists are medical doctors that have completed 48 months of supervised training in a health service environment at a municipal, hospital, district, provincial and or research environment having gained experience in the following domains:

  • Health measurement and informatics
  • Social sciences
  • Occupational health
  • Communicable diseases
  • Environmental health
  • Non-communicable diseases
  • Organisation, development and management of health care

Public Health medicine specialists work with colleagues in other disciplines and areas of health care, and across sectors in the prevention of disease and injury and the promotion of healthy behaviour. They also work in the development of health policy, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of services and programmes, the control of communicable and non-communicable diseases, reproductive health and diseases, environmental health and sustainable development, occupational health and health economics. They are trained in research methods and have particular skills in interpretation and translation of research findings for public health policy and clinical intervention. Their training in health management and behavioural sciences enables them to contribute to key public health functions within state and non-governmental services geared at equitable access to health services