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Annual Report of the Director of Public Health for 2004 Published 11 August 2005

    The Annual Report of the Director of Public Health for the Isle of Man for 2004 has been published.

    The Report is an open document addressed to the Department of Health and Social Security (DHSS), and by implication, given the broad range of factors which are relevant to population health, to Government as a whole. Crucially, it is also intended to reach out to members of the population, since much responsibility for their health and well-being lies in their own hands.

    In the UK, it is a statutory requirement for the Director of Public Health (DPH) to publish an Annual Report which provides a commentary on the health status of the population and factors which affect it. The Report itself is independent of Government, and thus provides a means by which issues which might not always be welcome or comfortable can be discussed freely and openly.

    Copies will be widely distributed shortly, and will also be available in Public Libraries. Electronic copies will also be available shortly on the Government website.

    The Report covers a range of current issues, but is of necessity somewhat selective, as it would be impossible to cover all relevant topics each year. In addition, some topics are included to stimulate debate in important areas such as setting priorities and measuring outcomes.

    Director of Public Health, Dr Ian MacLean, said, “Good population health is everyone’s business. Every Government Department, and many other organisations also, have a crucial part to play in securing a healthy future for our residents. This includes individuals themselves in particular. In other words, health is certainly not just about health services, but depends upon a number of factors not always linked to health, such as environment, education, housing, transport and many others.

    “For success, our ‘Strategy for Health’ relies absolutely upon coordinated activity across numerous organisations. This is always difficult to achieve, but within our small country, we ought to be able to show our larger neighbours how to work effectively together for a healthier nation.

    “We also need to improve our ability to measure health status, and thus to be more objective in setting priorities, and hence ensuring maximum benefit for our investments in health.”

    11th August 2005

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