29 Jun 2004

Marshall doctor calls for law change in TB fight

3:12 pm on 29 June 2004

The director of public health in the Marshall Islands, Dr Kennar Briand, says there's an urgent need for a law change to deal with patients who disobey instructions.

The need for change stems from a rise in the number of TB cases in the Marshalls.

The Ministry of Health wants parliament to amend the communicable disease law in an effort to introduce penalties if patients don't comply with health authorities and leave isolation wards.

Dr Briand says they are working with the Ministry of Health to determine the best way to amend the law.

"This came up as a result of some patients not complying with their treatment and we wanted to go after them but we cannot do anything because the law does not allow us for us to bring in those patients if they don't comply. Or to allow us to put them in jail, or whatever we can do to administer treatment."

Dr Briand, the director of public health in the Marshall Islands