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Public Health. 2003 Jan;117(1):66-71.

Putting the public back into public health. Part II. How can public health be accountable to the public?

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Evidence for Population Health Unit, School of Epidemiology and Health Sciences, Medical School, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PT, UK.


The practice of public health involves the application of evidence to improving population health, and should be accountable to the public. Accountability to the public can be considered either at the individual doctor-patient interface or through population-level policy making. The public, at both patient and population levels, should join the professionals at each stage of the 'population health evidence cycle'-in asking for, collecting, understanding and using evidence. A greater appreciation of the non-professional, public perspective would represent a substantial commitment to transforming our understanding and needs for different kinds of evidence required to improve the health of the population.

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