A health department or health ministry is a part of government which focuses on issues related to the general health of the citizenry. Subnational entities, such as states, counties and cities, often also operate a health department of their own. Health departments perform food inspections and other health related inspections (the person who performs this job is often called a public health inspector), vaccination programs, free STD and HIV tests, tobacco enforcement and cessation programs, and other medical assistance programs. Health departments also compile statistics about health issues of their area. In 1986, several of the worlds' national health departments met to establish an international guideline by which health departments operate. The meeting was in Ottawa, Canada, and hence the guidelines established are known as the Ottawa Charter. The Ottawa Charter was designed to ‘achieve Health for All’.
"Health department" can also refer to a university health department.
Health departments around the world
Most executive governments in the world are divided into departments or ministries.