Public Health Medicine

The practice of Public Health Medicine focuses on the delivery of population-oriented clinical services aimed at promoting the health of communities and prevention of diseases, teaching in public health and preventive medicine across disciplines and research to advance population health.

The UP Department of Public Health Medicine (PHM) was established in 1980’s to coordinates undergraduate teaching in the faculty of health sciences as well as the M Med specialization programme in Public Health Medicine, which trains doctors as specialists in Public Health Medicine. In addition, it also offers doctoral programme in Public Health Medicine (PhD and DMed). The Department is closely integrated into the service platform in the Steve Biko Academic Hospital cluster through its undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral teaching, preparing students for the challenges of working in the South African health system, and through its community engagement activities. 

In terms of services, the Departmental staff (Public Health Medicine specialists, registrars and medical officers and clinical associates) provide clinical services to the Steve Biko Academic Hospital and its cluster health facilities including Tembisa Provincial Tertiary Hospital. In addition, the Departmental staff supports the initiatives of the Gauteng Provincial Department of Health as well as South African National Department of Health. Its activities could be broadly grouped into disease prevention (Communicable diseases, non-communicable diseases, maternal and child health), clinical public health (clinical health informatics, medical management, clinical economics), Occupational and environmental health and social medicine. 
The Department also supports a wide range of research aimed at advancing public health and preventive medicine practice as well as having many collaborations with other research institutions, government and NGO services. The Department is closely linked to the UP COPC Research Unit as well WHO Collaborating Centre for Social Determinants of Health and Health in All Policies.


To be the most successful Clinical Public Health Medicine Department in South Africa through staff development, performance and quality through put


To become an internationally recognised centre of excellence for Public Health Medicine and Preventive Medicine through provision of Preventive Promotive care.

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