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New Public Health Act
Public Health Act
The Public Health Act (https://www.nunavutlegislation.ca/en/download/file/fid/11984 ) establishes measures relating to health protection and promotion, population health assessment, public health surveillance, disease and injury prevention, and public health emergency preparedness and response. The Act provides for the requirements and for the duties and powers of the Minister, the Chief Public Health Officer, and other officers tasked with protecting the health of all Nunavummiut. It also outlines requirements related to food and water safety, sanitation and the reporting of and response to communicable diseases.
The Public Health Act recognizes that Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit are important to the protection and promotion of public health and are therefore reflected and defined in the Act.
Health promotion and disease prevention:
The Public Health Act includes the authority to create programs that focus on promoting health and wellness for Nunavummiut.
Population Health Assessment
The Public Health Act allows for the collection and surveillance of health data to measure and improve key determinants of health for Nunavummiut.
The Public Health Act includes mechanisms to track, report and treat communicable diseases and other health hazards in order to protect public health. The act also allows for the declaration of a public health emergency to allow for special measures to protect the health of Nunavummiut.
Food and water safety and sanitation:
The Public Health Act outlines regulations to ensure the sale, manufacture and processing of food for Nunavummiut is safe and sanitary; it outlines the standards and requirements to ensure the delivery of safe and clean water; and safe and efficient waste disposal. To ensure compliance, the Act includes enforcement tools such as inspections, searches and investigation by Environmental Health Officers.
On the land:
The Public Health Act ensures any organization that employs people in a camp environment is required to provide an adequate supply of safe water, sanitary sewage and waste disposal, and conditions that provide for protection from risks to public health.
The Public Health act has strong provisions to protect patient privacy and confidentiality
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