Govt in process of drafting Public Health Bill
The government is in the process of drafting the Public Health Bill to give legal teeth to administrative authorities during health emergencies caused by epidemics including bird flu and dengue.
"Yes. The government of India is in the process of drafting the Public Health Bill," Minister of State for Health Anupriya Patel said in response to a written reply to a question.
She was asked whether the government proposes to bring a draft bill to give legal teeth to administrative authorities and to institutions under Union and state governments during public health emergencies caused by epidemics like bird flu, chikungunya, dengue and others. "Extensive consultations have already been made with all stakeholders. The draft Bill was also uploaded on the Health Ministry's website on February 22 this year inviting comments," the Minister said.
She said that the comments received are being evaluated for suitable and necessary action.
"No time frame can be fixed at this stage for the implementation of the proposed Public Health Bill," Patel said.
The ministry has put the draft Public Health (Prevention, Control and Management of epidemics, bio-terrorism and disasters) bill, 2017 in the public domain seeking comments from various stakeholders.
The health ministry has proposed a bill that seeks to empower state and local authorities to take appropriate action to tackle public health emergencies like epidemics and bioterrorism.
States and local bodies under the proposed bill can take multiple measures, ranging from quarantining people to decontamination of areas, destruction of animals or birds and surprise inspections during any public health emergency.