MR. INDRA MANI MISHRA
M. Sc. NURSING ,B.Sc. Biotechnology
COLLEGE OF NURSING,RIMS, RANCHI
For improvement and protection of public
health, an adequate health system is required,
but with any system, public health laws are
absolutely essential for proper and effective
regulation of health system.
The scope of public health is not limited to
one area, but it is very extensive. Hence, public
health laws are also wide based. In every aspects
of community health, public health laws are
Therefore , to solve public health problems,
effective laws are utmost essential.
According to Gostin, “ Public health laws
are such legal forces and duties of organized
society, by which conditions for maintaining
citizen’s health are ensured.’’
Public health law refers to a statute, or rule
or local ordinance that has the purpose of
promoting or protecting the public health.
OBJECTIVES OF PUBLIC HEALTH
To protect and promote public health
Control the risk to public health
Promote the control of infectious diseases
Prevent the spread of infectious diseases
Recognizes the role of local governments in
protecting public health
CHARACTERISTICS OF PUBLIC
GOVERNMENT- Public health activities are the
primary responsibility of government.
POPULATION- Public health focus on the
health of populations.
RELATIONSHIP- Public health contemplates
the relationship between the state and the
SERVICES- Public health deals with the
provision of public health services.
COERCION- Public health possesses the power
to coerce the individual for the protection of the
EFFECTIVNESS OF PUBLIC HEALTH
By simply making public health laws health problems
cannot be solved. To make the health laws effective, the
support of following factors are important:
Useful health system for proper solving.
Proper economic policies.
Periodic review of the health laws.
Strong political will to implement health laws.
CONTENTS OF PUBLIC HEALTH
1) General information about laws
General health code, rules, laws, constitution,
fundamental rights, duties etc.
Social & economic aspects of health laws
Health care systems and the systems of
2) Rules related to disease control and medical care
3) Mental health.
4) Care of aged and handicapped persons.
5) Laws related to smoking, tobacco, alcoholism and
6) Legal implication in family health. ( eg. Child health
7) Death and issues related to it.
8) Nutrition and food safety.
9) Consumer protection.
10) Drug preparation and different aspects related to it.
11) Occupational health and safety.
12) Environmental protection.
13) Training of health personnel.
14) Code of ethics and professional responsibilities.
IMPORTANCE OF PUBLIC HEALTH
LAWS AT WORLD LEVEL:-
The chief objective of international health laws is to
improve health status at international level.
To eradicate health risks for global environment or
Legal intervention by making health policies and laws
to prevent non-communicable disease, diabetes.
Introduction and management of new techniques in
area of health like biotechnologies , information etc.
To prevent health risks which may happen due to
To assist international agencies and institutions in
health management and regulations.
To increase awareness and interest regarding health in
the entire world.
OBSTACLES OF PUBLIC HEALTH
Health laws have to face many hindrances at local,
regional, national and international levels.
Hindrances produced due to social, political,
administrative and economic fields are included in
In addition to these obstacles, trade and commerce,
communication, technical and such globalization
related problems also create obstacle in implementing
health laws properly.
PUBLIC HEALTH LAWS IN INDIA
In India, health comes in the concurrent list. Hence
making and implementation of health laws are the
responsibility of state as well as central Govt.
In the enactment and implementation of health laws the
following department of the state and central governments
play important roles:
Ministry of health and family welfare
Department of women and child welfare
Public works department
Department of local bodies
Central pollution control board
State pollution control board
Ministry of food
Department of transportation and communications
Ministry of forestry and environment
NATIONAL IMPORTANCE OF
PUBLIC HEALTH LAWS:-
The chief objectives public health laws at
national level is proper regulation and
management of health services.
Strengthen the nation’s health infrastructure
Following the international health laws
Identification of government’s limitations in
the area of health
Making necessary financial provision for health .
Proper utilization of national resources .
Maintaining economic discipline in the area of health
Protection environmental health
Protection of food and maintaining nutritional level
Protecting citizens from drug addiction, alcoholism
Protection to consumers health services
Protection from environmental pollution and other
Following codes of ethics in health and
medical services, education, Training and
LAWS AND NURSING/MEDICAL
Doctors, nurses and other paramedical staff working in the
field of public health are responsible and accountable to
both, their profession and national law.
The Judicial System in India
Subordinate Courts/ Session Courts/Tribunals
TYPES OF LAWS:-
CIVIL LAW: Civil law deals matters concerning property,
contracts, torts, trust, family, succession etc.
CRIMINAL LAW: Criminal law deals all matters related to
any type of crime against individual, society or nation.
LAW OF TORTS: The law of torts deals with those civil
wrongs, which are independent of contract, being wrong
for which remedy is unliquidated damages.
LAW OF CONTRACTS: The act defines contract as an
agreement enforceable by law.
When patient approaches hospital or any health agency,
the relationship between them is one of contractual in
LIABILITY FOR CIVIL NEGLIGENCE:-
This is mainly concerned with the 4 D’s
DUTY: Existence of a duty of care by the
nurse or doctor.
DERELICTION: The failure on the part of the
nurse/ doctor to maintain proper care and
DIRECT CAUSATION: The failure to exercise
a duty of care must lead to damage.
DAMAGE: The damage which resulted must
be reasonably foreseeable.
FUNCTIONS OF THE LAW IN
In nursing, law serves following functions:
It provides guidance for nursing actions in the medico-
It helps to set the limitations of independent nursing
It helps in maintaining standards of nursing practices.
It differentiates the nurse’s responsibilities from other
SOME LAWS AND LEGISLATIONS
RELATED TO PUBLIC HEALTH:-
Several central ordinances, regulations, laws, rules and
acts, directly or indirectly related to health, are found
in our country.
PREVENTION OF FOOD ADULTERATION Act 1954
This act ensure pure and healthy food substances to
consumers. This act came into force from 1st June 1955.
The ministry of health and family welfare is
responsible to prevent adulteration in food items and
to maintain quality of food.
THE DRUGS AND COSMETICS ACT 1945
This act is effective for standardisation of medicines
and cosmetics, control of quality, give recognition to
new medicines and such activities like :
Implementation of medicine laws and policies.
Keeping control over the quality of medicines.
Recognition to new drugs made in the country.
Providing licence for the preparation and sale of serum
PRE-NATAL DIAGNOSTIC TECHNIQUE Act 1994
The main objective of this act is to prevent the
inhumane trend of female foeticide. The act is effective
from 1st January 1996.
According to this act, except for hereditary diseases,
getting information about the sex of foetus or giving
information about it are punishable.
MEDICAL TERMINATION OF PREGNENCY Act 1971
This act is made to encourage safe abortions. This act
came into effect since 1st April 1972. This act is helpful
in reducing maternal mortality and morbidity.
It is estimated that about 10 lakhs illegal abortions are
conducted every year.
OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH LAWS
There are many laws to protect the health of workers
engaged in industries.
They can be classified into :
1. Occupational Safety laws
2. Social Security laws
Occupational safety law: Through this law , safety is
ensured to workers engaged in mining. It plays an
important role in industrial safety and health.
Social Security Law: Following act/law come under
Workers Compensation Act 1923
Employees State Insurance Act 1948
Maternity Benefits Act 1961
WOMEN AND CHILD HEALTH WELFARE LAWS
There are many laws in the country which are directly
related to child and women health. Some of them are
Acts Related to Children
Child Marriage Prohibition Act 1976.
Children (labour prohibition) Act 1943
Juvenile Delinquency Justice Act 1986
Laws Related to Women
Hindu Marriage Act 1955
Equal wages Act 1976
Dowry Prohibition Act 1961
National Women’s Commission Act 1992
CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT 1986
This act is considered most important and effective law
protecting the interest of consumers. According to this law
any person obtaining a service after paying money is a
Medical service also come within the consumer act . This law
extends to all private hospitals, doctors, nurses, clinics etc,
where full or partial payment is obtained for services.
Hence all medical staff and paramedical staff should have
knowledge about this law.
MENTAL HEALTH Act 1987
This law helps in the protection of mentally sick or
weak persons. This protects the rights of sympathetic
treatment and right to live with dignity of the mental
PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES Act 1995
The law deals with both prevention and promotional
aspects of the rehabilitation such as education,
employment and vocational training, creation of
barrier free environment to the persons with
ENVIRONMENT CONSERVATION LAWS
Environment protection includes many areas like soil,
forest, water, air, plant kingdom, animal kingdom
pollution prevention etc.
The central government has enacted ENVIRONMENT
Protection Act 1985, for protecting the environment.
Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) is an
important agency for pollution control. Similarly, state
has this board to protect the environment in states.
Functions and Responsibilities of
Nurses with Regard to Public
Keeping latest information regarding public health laws.
Playing active role in implementing public health laws.
Creating awareness in patients, families and society
regarding public health laws.
Participation in reviews, workshops and seminars
regarding public health laws.
Educating the public regarding the need and importance of
public health laws.
If public health laws are broken, giving information to
concern agencies which can take appropriate action.
Active participation in the evaluation of public health laws.
Objectives of Public Health Laws
Characteristics of Public Health Laws
Effectiveness of Public Health Laws
Contents of Public Health Laws
Obstacles of Public Health Laws
Importance of Public Health Laws at world level
Public Health Laws in India
National importance of Public Health Laws
Law and Nursing/Medical Profession
The Judicial system in India
Types of Laws
Function of Laws in Nursing
Laws related to Public Health
Functions & responsibilities of Nurses with regard to Public Health Law
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Edition. 2006; Published by N.R. Brothers. Indore; Page
2) Dr. Upadyay Ram Jai Jai; The Constitution of India;
Published by Central Law Agency Allahabad; Page no. 13,
3) Park. K; Essential of Community Health Nursing; 4th
Edition 2014; Published by Premnagar, Jabalpur; Page no.
4) Dr. Rao Sundar Kasthuri; An Introduction to Community
Health Nursing; 4th Edition (reprint) 2005; Published by
B.I Publication pvt Ltd. Chennai; Page no. 354-359