As part of protecting the health and well-being of Saint Lucians, the Government of Saint Lucia has made the decision to review and amend the Public Health Act.
More in this report from Fernelle Neptune:
The amendment of the Public Health Act in 2019 is expected to address some of the key public health issues that are relevant and current in the development of the country.
Chief Environmental Health Officer Parker Ragnanan spoke on the need to amend the Public Health Act given the changing environment.
“This review allowed for new areas to be brought under regulation. Some of these new areas include body art. So we know Saint Lucians have been doing tattooing, body piercing and so forth, but that practice had not been regulated. So, under the new Public Health Act, it makes provision for regulations to be established for body art. Under the Public Health Act which was revised in 2019, there is a new area that deals with smoking of tobacco products in public spaces. What this Act has done now is to take measures to ensure that public smoking is prohibited and therefore it must be done under very regulated conditions. So there are now regulations to deal with these areas. The revised Act also deals with issues like spas, massage parlors and these are new areas generally.”
Ragnanan says a key part of preparing the amended Public Health Act and regulation was extensive consultation with stakeholders.
“The amendment of the legislation, both the Public Health Act and the regulations have gone through a significant process over a period spanning more than 15 years now. There have been different consultations at different levels including the government employing a legal consultant to review these regulations and to have consultations with key stakeholders and parties to come up with the best mix for Saint Luci and that was done. Apart from the consultations, there were discussions inter-ministerial to look at what is the best approach in dealing with the regulation.”
In the new Public Health Act, fifteen pieces of the Public Health regulations were amended and new regulations were legislated.