Raison d’être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do
Public health involves the organized efforts of society that aim to keep people healthy and to prevent illness, injury and premature death. The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has put in place programs, services and policies to help protect and promote the health of all Canadians and residents of Canada. In Canada, public health is a responsibility that is shared by all three levels of government in collaboration with the private sector, non-governmental organizations, health professionals and the public.
In September 2004, PHAC was created within the federal Health Portfolio to deliver on the Government of Canada's commitment to increase its focus on public health in order to help protect and improve the health and safety of all Canadians and to contribute to strengthening public health capacities across Canada.
PHAC has the responsibility to:
- Contribute to the prevention of disease and injury, and to the promotion of health;
- Enhance surveillance information and expand the knowledge of disease and injury across Canada;
- Provide federal leadership and accountability in managing responses to national public health events;
- Strengthen intergovernmental collaboration on public health and facilitate national approaches to public health policy and planning; and
- Serve as a central point for sharing public health expertise across Canada and with international partners, and to use this knowledge to inform and support Canada's public health priorities.
For more general information about the department, see the "Supplementary information" section of this report. For more information on the department's organizational mandate letter commitments, see the Minister’s mandate letter.
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