This article describes the actions of public health services of the city of Barcelona to prevent tuberculosis transmission by noncompliant smear-positive patients by using the possibilities of Spanish Law 3/1986. The actions were based on a resolution of the health authorities on the need to locate such patients and to detain them in hospitals to provide treatment. This involved police cooperation, informing noncompliant patients, and requesting ratification from the Administrative Court. The article describes the process and the characteristics of the cases involved. Over nine years, from July 2006 to June 2015, the law was used in only twelve cases. The authors conclude that the criteria of prudence and proportionality were used in the application of the law, which resulted in the treatment of patients who posed a risk to their environment, reducing the transmission of infection.
- Public health law
- Public health surveillance
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health