CHAPTER 136

IN RESPECT TO TUBERCULOSIS

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 16, DELAWARE CODE, ENTITLED "HEALTH AND SAFETY" IN RESPECT TO TUBERCULOSIS.

WHEREAS, the disease of tuberculosis represents a serious menace to the public health, and control of tuberculosis is recognized as a public responsibility; and

WHEREAS, it is considered that all persons with active and contagious tuberculosis should be treated and cared for in order to effectively control the continuing spread of the disease; and

WHEREAS, it is considered that provision should be made for the receipt through the State Board of Health of funds payable for maintenance, care and treatment, either by a patient or by an insurance health coverage plan; and

WHEREAS, the actual expenses of maintenance, care and treatment are of such an amount that only a few of the State's citizens are able, without considerable depletion of financial resources, to pay for such care and treatment; and

WHEREAS, it is believed that the actual financial ability of any person suffering from tuberculosis to pay for any care and treatment can be determined at the discretion of the State Board of Health, and that regulations can be established by the State Board of Health for the exercise of such discretion primarily based on the principle that the protection of the public interest shall be paramount;

NOW, THEREFORE

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware:

SUBCHAPTER IV. TUBERCULOSIS

§ 151. Powers and duties of State Board

The State Board of Health may --

(1) Promote a careful study of conditions regarding tuberculosis throughout the State;

(2) Educate public opinion as to the causes and prevention of tuberculosis;

(3) Arouse general interest in securing adequate provision for the proper care of tuberculosis patients in their homes and by means of sanatoria; and

(4) Send such tuberculosis patients as require treatment to Emily P. Bissell Hospital for such treatment.

§ 152. Payment of costs of maintenance

The State Board of Health shall pay for the care, treatment and maintenance of all hospitalized patients, who enter the Emily P. Bissell Hospital for the diagnosis, treatment and care of tuberculosis and other chronic pulmonary diseases, such as fungus disease, sarcoidosis, bronchiectasis and bronchial asthma, who, in the discretion of the State Board of Health, need such financial support. Those patients who are required by the State Board of Health, to pay for such care, treatment and maintenance shall make direct payment to the Emily P. Bissell Hospital. Direct payment shall be made to the Emily P. Bissell Hospital by health insurance companies or health benefit payment plans by which any patient has health coverage.

§ 153. County dispensaries

The State Board of Health shall establish throughout the State, at least one clinic in each county for the diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis and other chronic pulmonary diseases, such as fungus disease, sarcoidosis, bronchiectasis and bronchial asthma, and, for the purpose of maintaining such

clinics, shall employ such qualified persons as may be necessary to take charge thereof, and pay them such reasonable compensation as may be necessary.

§ 154. Admittance to Emily P. Bissell Hospital

The State Board of Health may admit such persons to the institution known as the Emily P. Bissell Hospital, for the prevention and treatment of tuberculosis and other chronic pulmonary diseases, as in the judgment of the Board may be proper, and may provide for the care, treatment and support of such persons, under such rules and regulations as may be from time to time, established by the Board.

§ 155. Accounting by Board of Health; special emergency fund

(a) The Board of Health, administrator of the Emily P. Bissell Hospital, shall keep or have kept a full, true and accurate account of all monies received for the board, for care and attention of patients by the hospital and all monies arising from any other source than the annual appropriation made to the hospital by the State and the special fund provided for in subsection (b) of this section; and shall pay all monies except gifts for specific purposes over to the State Treasurer on the first days of March, June, September and December, in each and every year, at the same time filing with the State Treasurer, a full statement of same.

(b) The State Treasurer shall open and keep a separate account of the monies paid him as provided in subsection (a) of this section, to be known as "Special Emergency Fund of the Emily P. Bissell Hospital". The fund shall not be drawn upon by the Board of Health until the annual appropriation made by the State is exhausted, and then only to be used for the actual expenses of operating the hospital.

(c) The State Treasurer shall, upon the filing with him, by the State Board of Health, of a certificate that the annual appropriations made by the State have been exhausted, honor and pay orders, of the Board of Health out of the fund, charging the orders against the fund.

§ 156. Annual account and report to Governor

The State Board of Health shall furnish annually to the Governor a full account of its expenditures and disbursements under this subchapter. It shall also at the same time report to the Governor, the work of the Board for the year, including the number of persons treated, the results of treatment, as nearly as can be ascertained, and such other information as may be of public interest and value. Such report shall, at all times, be open to the inspection of the citizens of the State in the office of the Secretary of State.

Approved June 10, 1957.