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Public Health etc. (Scotland) Act 2008

Section 1 Duty of Scottish Ministers to protect public health

4.Subsection (1) requires(1) the Scottish Ministers to continue to make provision, or secure that provision is made, for the protection of public health in Scotland

5.This updates the requirements in a number of public health statutes which are being repealed by the Act, including the Public Health (Scotland) Act 1897 and the Public Health (Scotland) Act 1945.

6.Subsection (2) defines “protecting public health” as the protection of the community or any part of it from infectious diseases, contamination or other such hazards which constitute a danger to human health and includes the prevention and control of, and provision of a public health response to, such diseases, contamination or other hazards. “Contamination” is defined in subsection (5) as meaning contamination with or by a biological, chemical or radioactive substance; “infectious disease” is defined as an illness or medical condition caused by an infectious agent (including an organism listed in Part 2 of schedule 1 to the Act).

7.Subsection (3) provides that for the purpose of protecting public health, the Scottish Ministers may provide assistance, including financial assistance, to any person who exercises functions in relation to public health. Subsection (4) states that the duty placed on the Scottish Ministers in subsection (1) is without prejudice to the general duties of the Scottish Ministers to provide a health service and promote the improvement of the health of the people of Scotland as outlined in section 1 and 1A of the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978 (the “1978 Act”).

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