Community Health and Infectious Diseases
Many sections of the Health Act 1985 deal with protecting the public and providing interventions to limit the spread of infectious diseases. Councils Environmental Health Officer (E.H.O) and Medical Officers of Health play a key role.
The Health Act provides that:
The functions of the Council under this Act is to seek to prevent diseases, prolong life and promote public health through organised programs including the prevention and control of:
- environmental health dangers;
- health problems of particularly vulnerable population groups
- developing and enforcing up to date public health standards and intervening if the health of people within the municipal district is affected.
Council undertakes the following broad range of activities;
- Immunisation sessions for infants, school students, general public;
- Monitoring of Premises pursuant to the Health Act and Food Act, including the registration of Prescribed Accommodation, hairdressing and similar businesses
- The inspection of public pools and spa pools;
- The provision of free sharps containers and the arrangement disposal of returned containers (to non commercial generators of used needles, syringes i.e. diabetics;
- The supply of information and treatment lotions for head lice;
- The investigation of notification of infectious diseases occurrences.
The Health Act requires three broad categories of businesses to be registered with Council:
- Hairdressing Premises – fixed or mobile.
- Beauty parlours and skin penetration premises such as ear piercing, electrolysis, tattooists. Acupuncturists are now registered by their own professional association.
- Prescribed Accommodation such as motels, larger B&B’s and school dormitory style accommodation where the accommodation comprises shared facilities or where the accommodation does not include all facilities normally associated with a dwelling.
The purpose of the Registration process is to ensure that the facility is monitored in respect to public health standards, cleanliness and maintenance, overcrowding, and for hairdressing/skin penetration type places to ensure operations adhere to the operational requirements regarding sanitisation or sterilisation of equipment.
Registrations occur annually during December for the following calendar year. In relation to accommodation, separate registration is also required if food is sold (including the provision for an all inclusive charge i.e. B&B’s).
Under the Act, Council is also required to develop, in consultation with other stakeholders and the community a "Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plan
". For details regarding the development and status of Council's plan click here.
For more detailed information, contact Councils E.H.O.