Main Article Content

The medico-legal prerequisite for initiating quarantine and isolation practices in public health emergency management in hospitals in Ghana

ID Norman
M Aikins
FN Binka


Hospitals and other health facilities in Ghana do not appear to have standardized practices for quarantine and isolation in public health emergency management. This paper reviews the legislative framework govern-ing the medico-legal prerequisites for initiating quaran-tine and isolation procedures as articulated in the Infec-tious Disease Act (Cap 78) 1908 amended, 1935, the Quarantine Act (Cap 77) 1915 amended, 1938, the Emergency Powers Act of 1994, (Act 472), and the National Disaster Management Act, 1996, (Act 517) in consonance with the 1992 Constitution of Ghana. The findings provide that (1) The legislative framework outlines systematic stan-dards and protocols to be followed in the committal of person or persons in quarantine and isolation during public health emergencies. (2) These standards and protocols consider as impera-tive, the creation of standardized national templates for the initiation of quarantine and isolation measures. (3) The non-compliance of the standards and protocols renders vulnerable medical facilities and hospitals with their personnel to the threat of medical mal-practice suits and breach of professional ethics. This paper provides suggestions to hospital administra-tors and medical personnel of how to develop adminis-trative templates in compliance with the law in manag-ing public health  emergencies. It also provides exam-ples of such templates for possible adoption by hospi-tals and other health administrators.