THD NewsDesk, New Delhi: The centre introduced a plan for the drafting of the National Public Health Bill for appropriate control and management of the forthcoming Public Health emergencies. The executed move is to ensure structured legislation the next time the nation finds itself in the middle of an epidemic, as reported on Sunday.
The Bill addresses four significant aspects of a National Public Health emergency, namely-
- Control and Management
- Disaster Management
The move is directed at the empowerment of the Central and State government to tackle any unforeseen health-based crisis.
In a panel of Rajya Sabha, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan confirmed that the government has been labouring to bring about a National Public Health Act for a couple of years now, and it shall be implied shortly in the House. The Bill shall address alarming concerns and drawbacks of the National Disaster Management Act along with the Epidemic Diseases Amendment Bill.
“All issues not included under the Epidemic Act or National Disaster Management Act will be included in the Public Health Act,” Vardhan said.
The draft has been circulated twice for revisions, once in 2009 and later in 2018, to attract stakeholder comments.
The Bill proposes to authorise the State and local governing authorities to deal with future Public Health emergencies and initiate quick and smooth movement in case of Bioterrorism.
The Bill states that the authorities can-
- Quarantine people to decontaminate affected areas
- Isolate the infected
- Destruction of animals or birds
- Surprise inspections during public health emergencies
The Bill will define terms like public health emergency of international concern and contain phrases like Epidemic, Isolation and Social Distancing, Ground crossing, disinfection, de-ratting and decontamination.
It is relieving that the current pandemic has driven home the thought of prevention and precaution for future health-based emergencies. As a developing nation, India is under extreme strain to overcome the adverse repercussions that COVID-19 has exerted. While there are nearly 1248 existing Indian laws, the question is also about the execution and assurance of the law. It has taken ten years of circulation of a draft and a deadly pandemic to finally actualise the urgent need of a National Public Health Bill.
In the past couple of months, the turn of legislative events has meandered mountains and oceans, with an unimaginable speed, under the current ruling government, Bhartiya Janata Party with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Ranging from the recent Citizenship Bill, the Special Protection Group (Amendment) Bill, and many others, the eyes are now set on the conception and implementation of this National Public Health Bill.
Source: Economic Times