The department of health in most jurisdictions is in charge of all things to with public health and safety concerns for a community. The department oversees many areas such as water, the environment, trash removal, licensing for health services personnel, funeral homes, public safety, disease control and any other health related issues that a community would be concerned with.
The overseeing and community with the medical community is very important, as when a disease comes to a community such as influenza or the measles. It is the job of the health department to coordinate any measures that would need to be taken to protect the community from the effects of an epidemic.
The overseeing of water quality in any community is an important aspect of keeping a population safe from disease. Water is one of the prime elements where some serious diseases can proliferate and be spread very easily. The proper filtration and chemicals must be monitored and frequent testing is usually the order of the day.
Sewage disposal is another primary area where the department of health must be on top of. Typically, a community will have a sewage processing plant that is located in an area away from a population where sewage is treated and turned back into potable water. The department of health will frequently be testing the process to ensure that the quality of potable water is up to standards.
Restaurants all have to pass muster with a department of health and before they can open they will have to measure up to the quality and knowledge that the department sets forth. Periodic checks will also ensure that a restaurant is continuing to meet those rules. If a restaurant is found not to be measuring up, the problem will have to be corrected, or the department of health will have the power to shut it down.
School safety and procedures will come under the watch of the department of health. Provisions for the establishment of entrance standards and required immunizations are set into place and all children who enter school must adhere to these rules.
There is usually a medical examiner who is in charge of all things medical, and a coroner who is responsible for autopsies, and medical investigations in criminal cases. The medical examiner and the coroner is sometimes one in the same person, and this office will also be in charge of death certificates, giving annual reports about the office, and being in charge of any processes in regard to community health issues from natural disasters and illness epidemics.
The department of health in a community also is a great resource for the population of that area in terms of information about health issues. Just giving people information about where to go for health care and treatment is a great help to the general public.
A health department is a must have for any community because of the nature of health problems that can crop up at any time, and sometimes very suddenly. By having a professional and competent department of health, these problems can be taken care of and the public is better for it.