December 5, 1966

Medical Care and Public Health in California

Author Affiliations

From the State of California Department of Public Health, Berkeley.

JAMA. 1966;198(10):1079-1081. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110230095020

Public health, based on the science of epidemiology, is concerned with all of the factors that influence the occurrence and outcome of disease.

Medical care, with recent advances in medical science, has become one of the important factors in determining the outcome of disease. Although the great debate on medical care focused on the economic aspects of the problem, the popular interest was probably motivated by recognition that medical care can now save many lives and avoid or minimize much disability. The health potential of medical care, rather than its cost, probably underlies the tremendous concern of the American people for obtaining it. Amounts and methods of payment, and how and by whom the money shall be raised, have been obstacles to achieving something good for health. Unfortunately, the obstacle, rather than the goal, has attracted the principal attention.

Now that the major decisions on payment have been made, the