Health Policies Paper
In this Application Assignment, you are required to write a 3- to 5-page paper in which you
propose three new policies for preventing or mitigating a significant public health problem,
such as injuries, obesity, or bioterrorism. For this assignment, assume you work for your
state health department, and make sure the policies you propose are in line with public
health powers and duties.
Begin by selecting a significant public health problem and reading at least three research
articles on your selected health problem. Then, create three new policies that could be
effective in preventing and/or mitigating the identified problem. You may propose policies
that are similar to existing ones, but your policies should demonstrate original thinking
around, and new solutions to, the public health problems.
Public Health Policies
The United States as a nation is faced with new health challenges each and every day
(White, Stallones & Last, 2013). These challenges cannot be counteracted without going past the
preoccupation that has currently been the order of the day when it comes to personal health care
financing and biomedical research all of which have given rise to a system of public health and
medical care that are designed for a different era. Some of the challenges have taken a global
dimension, for example the spread of such infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS, and also the
bioterrorism threat (White, Stallones & Last, 2013). Other challenges are domestic and entail
mental illness, violence, the ever increasing cases of chronic diseases and disability, and
substance abuse. The field of research has brought forth more information on an individual’s
health behavior, work environment, socioeconomic factors, provision or omission of community
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support, and environmental toxins than was there before (White, Stallones & Last, 2013).
Solving such problems will require that that actions are taken on those issues that have been least
thought of as relating to health, which include housing, agriculture, education and transport.
There is no any other country that spends as much as the US on healthcare. The results of
this huge spending are however apparent neither on the satisfaction of Americans’ with the
health care system in their country nor within their health. The results have been less satisfactory
when it comes to such matters like infant survival, healthcare access and most specifically by the
poor population, and the length and value of life. The United States has only managed to meet
15% of all the objectives as set by the Healthy People 2000 (White, Stallones & Last, 2013).
Even if there have been significant advances towards achieving these objectives by 44%,
Americans’ health has for sure worsened for about 20% of these objectives which include
obesity, cigarette use by young adults and physical activity (White, Stallones & Last, 2013).
Personal healthcare is basically not the main impact on health and this has been the main
reason why the nation has not been able to produce better health even with huge spending.
Almost half of the premature mortality cases are related in one way or the other to the risky
behaviors like alcohol abuse, poor diet, cigarette smoking, substance abuse and lack of
constructive exercise. All of these are closely correlated to such factors like socioeconomic
status, availability of communal support and education (Novick, Cynthia & Glen, 2008). It is for
these reasons that such policies like no public smoking, every vehicle must be fitted with a fan
for the solder fumes from the exhaust or use unleaded fuel and proper waste treatment before
Smokers should be smoking in designated places so that they do not affect the non-
smokers (Novick, Cynthia & Glen, 2008). It has been established that the passive smokers suffer
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even more than the active smokers because the effects of tobacco on a passive smoker are more
dangerous and numerous compared to those on the real smoker. This would help reduce the
number of tobacco related deaths per year since only those who actively smoke the cigarettes
will be affected.
Leaded fuels, when burnt with auto engines, produces hazardous fumes which are very
harmful to the health of human beings when inhaled (Wilson & Keelan, 2009). Overexposure to
such fumes could end up causing serious, and most likely, long lasting medical problems.
Increased frequencies of these fumes in the man’s immediate environment result into such
difficulties like eye irritation, sore throat, occupational asthma, nosebleed, dermatitis and even
permanent damage to the lungs. The unleaded fuel or the solder fan fitted vehicles policy will
help reduce such fumes in the environment and thus an improvement in the health system and
hence improved health to individuals.
Most factories have been known to dispose their wastes without considering the effects
that such wastes will cause to the environment (Wilson & Keelan, 2009). The main sites for the
disposition of waste materials are the water bodies including rivers and lakes. When the wastes
are not properly treated before disposing them, they will most likely affect water users
downstream and this will put their health at risk. Because it would be unethical to refrain them
from disposing their wastes in such places, strict laws should be enacted to ensure that any
factory should only deposit into any water body that which does not put human health at risk.
Ethical policy, a document that basically outlines the mode of interaction between
members of an organization and how such members should interact with the customers they
serve, is very important in any particular workplace (Wilson & Keelan, 2009). The policies
above described are for sure ethical. Nonsmokers for instance often do not like the odor from the
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cigarette smoke. It would be ethical to keep them safe from such odors and their effects
thereafter. Protecting people from the effect of the exhaust fumes is also humane and thus
ethical. Ethics also demand that human health is given the first priority and protecting him form
the adverse effects of the wastes from the factories would be of great ethics.
There are however some legal and ethical concerns that have to be addressed when
implementing the above stated policies. The legal concerns the rights and freedoms of the
concerned parties as outlined in the constitution must be observed to the latter. Any violation of
any of their rights will not be tolerated in any way and could even end up in a law suit. Ethics
also demand that every individual in any particular society should be treated in the same manner
and thus the smokers, the vehicle companies and the factory owners should not be discriminated
against, but should instead be drawn into the fight towards achieving a healthy environment that
will increase the life expectancy of the whole population.
Novick, L.F, Cynthia, B.M. & Glen, P.M. (2008). Public Health Administration: Principles for
Population-Based Management. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Pub.
White, F., Stallones, L. & Last, J.M. (2013). Global Public Health: Ecological Foundations.
Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Wilson, K. & Keelan, J. (2009). Coping with public health 2.0. Canadian Medical Association
Journal 180(10), 1080.