El ejercicio de la autoridad sanitaria: Los principios, lo reglamentado y la incertidumbre

Translated title of the contribution: On the exercise of health authority: Principles, regulations and uncertainty

Joan R. Villalbí, Meritxell Cusí, Joan A. Caylà, Júlia Duràn, Joan Guix

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Implementing health authority is a basic public health service. Part of the responsibility of public health managers is to ensure compliance with regulations. These are developed when certain risks are considered inadmissible. Mostly, the exercise of health authority deals with the routine application of detailed norms, although there is always some uncertainty, as shown by the frequent use of cautionary measures by health officers during inspections. However, epidemiologic surveillance periodically involves situations in which human health is damaged and there is no reference regulation; in these situations, health authorities must act according to their own criteria, weighing the risks of intervention against those of nonintervention. In this article, we present 3 such scenarios: using coercion in the treatment of patients with smear-positive tuberculosis, regulation of activities with soy beans posing asthma risks, and setting limits to the professional activity of an HIV-positive physician.

Original languageSpanish
Pages (from-to)172-175
Number of pages4
JournalGaceta Sanitaria
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007



  • Epidemiologic surveillance
  • Health authority
  • Law
  • Regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Villalbí, J. R., Cusí, M., Caylà, J. A., Duràn, J., & Guix, J. (2007). El ejercicio de la autoridad sanitaria: Los principios, lo reglamentado y la incertidumbre. Gaceta Sanitaria, 21(2), 172-175. https://doi.org/10.1157/13101051