Public health professionals

Describe two issues expected to be significant public health concerns in the next 5-10 years.
What changes will need to be made to the public health workforce (e.g., size, composition,
distribution) to address those issues?

PUB510

From assessing trends in diseases and illnesses to engaging in practices that promote the
high quality of life, public health professionals are committed to improving service delivery
(Atkins, Rusch, Mehta, & Lakind, 2016). However, some public health concerns in the future
threaten efforts made by individuals working in public health to ensure longer and higher quality
of life. Issues expected to be significant public health concerns in the next five to ten years
include workforce shortage, poor infrastructure, and education.
Current workforce shortage may continue in the future if measures are not put in place to
avert the problem. The problem persists due to budgetary cuts, and areas such as nursing,
surveillance, and environmental health need many workers. More health workers will be needed
in the future to address public health issues, and failure to increase the number could have
devastating effects. Education plays a vital role in public health, and as technology evolves,
educational needs of public health workers also evolve. Public health workers should know
trends, and how to gather and interpret data (Atkins et al., 2016). Technology could change
public health operations in the future, and workers risk losing their jobs due to lack of skills
brought by such changes. For public health workers to work efficiently, proper infrastructure is
needed. Budget cuts could lead to poor infrastructure, which will hamper public health

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operations. To deal with these issues, more funds should be allocated to building infrastructure,
quality and up to date training offered to public health students, and encourage more people to
join public health. Public health is struggling to meet the needs of people in different places,
hence the need to provide financial support, and proper infrastructure. Public health needs to be
flexible to survive in the future.

References

Atkins, M. S., Rusch, D., Mehta, T. G., & Lakind, D. (2016). Future directions for dissemination
and implementation science: Aligning ecological theory and public health to close the
research to practice gap. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 45(2), 215-
226.

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