Mandatory reporting of health emergencies now a law

President Rodrigo R. Duterte has signed a law on the mandatory reporting of epidemics and other health emergencies.

The “Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Evens of Public Health Concern Act” was signed into law on April 26 but a copy of the document was only released to reporters on Tuesday (July 16).

Under the law, “the DOH, though the Epidemiology Bureau, shall issue the official list of institutionalized public health information system, disease surveillance and response systems for mandatory reporting of notifiable diseases and health events of public concern.”

The DOH and its local counterparts are mandated to implement the mandatory reporting of notifiable diseases and health events of public concern, the law read.

It should also establish and maintain functional disease surveillance and response systems.

All public and private physicians, allied medical personnel, professional societies, hospitals, clinics, health facilities, laboratories, institutions, among others are required to accurately and immediately report these concerns.

The law also establishes a public health information system disease surveillance and response systems in private and public facilities deemed necessary to protect the health of the population.

The Health Secretary will have the authority to declare epidemics of national and/or international concerns unless it threatens natural security.

The Philippine President will, meanwhile, declare a state of public health emergency and mobilize governmental and non-governmental agencies to respond to the threat.

Provincial, city or municipal health offices may only declare a disease outbreak within their respective localities.

It prohibits acts, including the unauthorized disclosure of confidential information, tampering of records or intentionally providing misinformation, non-operation of the disease surveillance and response systems, among others.

Violators will be imposed with a fine ranging from PHP20,000 to PHP50,000 or imprisonment of a month to six months. (PNA)

Credit : https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1075157

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