2021 Georgia Code
Title 31 - Health
Chapter 2 - Department of Community Health
§ 31-2-1. Legislative Intent; Grant of Authority
Given the growing concern and complexities of health issues in this state, it is the intent of the General Assembly to create a Department of Community Health dedicated to health issues. Illustrating, without limiting, the foregoing grant of authority, the department is empowered to:
- Serve as the lead planning agency for all health issues in the state to remedy the current situation wherein the responsibility for health care policy, purchasing, planning, and regulation is spread among many different agencies and achieve determinations of Medicaid eligibility for inmates to attain services at long-term care facilities when he or she is being considered for parole;
- Permit the state to maximize its purchasing power and to administer its operations in a manner so as to receive the maximum amount of federal financial participation available in expenditures of the department;
- Minimize duplication and maximize administrative efficiency in the state's health care systems by removing overlapping functions and streamlining uncoordinated programs;
- Allow the state to develop a better health care infrastructure that is more responsive to the consumers it serves while improving access to and coverage for health care;
- Focus more attention and departmental procedures on the issue of wellness, including diet, exercise, and personal responsibility;
- Enter into or upon public or private property at reasonable times for the purpose of inspecting same to determine the presence of conditions deleterious to health or to determine compliance with applicable laws and rules, regulations, and standards thereunder; and
- Promulgate and enforce rules and regulations for the licensing of medical facilities wherein abortion procedures under subsections (b) and (c) of Code Section 16-12-141 are to be performed.
(Code 1981, §31-5A-1, enacted by Ga. L. 1999, p. 296, § 1; Code 1981, §31-2-1, as redesignated by Ga. L. 2009, p. 453, § 1-1/HB 228; Ga. L. 2011, p. 705, § 4-1/HB 214; Ga. L. 2018, p. 550, § 3-1/SB 407.)
The 2018 amendment, effective July 1, 2018, added "and achieve determinations of Medicaid eligibility for inmates to attain services at long-term care facilities when he or she is being considered for parole" at the end of paragraph (1).Editor's notes.
- The substance of the former Code section, pertaining to duty, functions, and powers of the former Department of Human Resources is now contained in the introductory language and paragraphs (6) through (18) of the present Code section. The former Code section was based on Code 1933, § 88-108, enacted by Ga. L. 1964, p. 499, § 1; Ga. L. 1971, p. 669, § 1; Ga. L. 1973, p. 635, § 2; Ga. L. 1979, p. 823, §§ 1, 2, and was repealed by Ga. L. 2009, p. 453, § 1-1/HB 228, effective July 1, 2009.Law reviews.
- For article, "Putting the Community Back into the 'Community Benefit' Standard," see 44 Ga. L. Rev. 375 (2010). For article on the 2011 amendment of this Code section, see 28 Ga. St. U. L. Rev. 147 (2011). For article on the 2018 amendment of this Code section, see 35 Ga. St. U. L. Rev. 45 (2018).
- In light of the similarity of the statutory provisions, decisions under former Code Section 31-2-1, which was subsequently repealed but was succeeded by provisions in this Code section, are included in the annotations for this Code section.No private right of action for failing to notify of sickle cell disease.
- Trial court properly granted the motion to dismiss or the motion for summary judgment filed by various defendants in a suit brought by plaintiff child, by and through the child's parent, which asserted negligence and negligence per se for failing to inform the plaintiff and the parent, at the time of the plaintiff's birth, that the plaintiff had sickle cell disease. The trial court properly ruled that no private right of action exists for a violation of O.C.G.A. § 31-12-7, and the appellate court clarified that there existed no statutory intent to impose strict liability for violating the notice requirement of § 31-12-7 and substantial compliance with the statute was all that was required, which was shown in that the defendants attempted to contact the plaintiff and the parent but were unable to locate them due to incorrect contact information. In re Carter, 288 Ga. App. 276, 653 S.E.2d 860 (2007).
Cited in Porubiansky v. Emory Univ., 156 Ga. App. 602, 275 S.E.2d 163 (1980); Ga. Dep't of Cmty. Health, Div. of Health Planning v. Gwinnett Hosp. Sys., 262 Ga. App. 879, 586 S.E.2d 762 (2003); Live Oak Consulting, Inc. v. Dep't of Cmty. Health, 281 Ga. App. 791, 637 S.E.2d 455 (2006); Tanner Med. Ctr., Inc. v. Vest Newnan, LLC, 337 Ga. App. 884, 789 S.E.2d 258 (2016).
OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
- In light of the similarity of the statutory provisions, opinions under former Code 1933, §§ 88-112, 88-117, and former Code Section 31-2-1, which were subsequently repealed but were succeeded by provisions in this Code section, are included in the annotations for this Code section.Regulation of quarantine and control of tuberculosis.
- Department of Human Resources (now the Department of Community Health for these purposes) has authority to make reasonable rules and regulations regarding quarantine and control of communicable tuberculosis. 1945-47 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 530 (decided under former Code 1933, §§ 88-112 and 88-117).
Phenylketonuria and other inborn errors of metabolism in infants are conditions which the legislature intended to cover under Ga. L. 1964, p. 499, § 1 (see O.C.G.A. § 31-2-9); the State Board of Health (now the Department of Community Health for these purposes) has authority to adopt and promulgate reasonable rules and regulations which will affect prevention, correction, and abatement of such situations and conditions so long as such rules do not violate constitutional or legal guarantees of any person and are within the purview of the powers and duties imposed upon the State Health Department (now the Department of Community Health for these purposes). 1965-66 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 65-81.
Adoption of rules and regulations concerning phenylketonuria would be for the purpose of detection and prevention of a condition which adversely affects the health of citizens of the state, and the State Board of Health (now the Department of Community Health for these purposes) is authorized to adopt such rules and regulations. 1965-66 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 65-81.Regulation of septic tank construction outside city limits.
- Georgia Department of Public Health (now the Department of Community Health for these purposes) is authorized to adopt and enforce rules and regulations establishing standards for construction of septic tanks for housing located outside city limits. 1968 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 68-185.Power to promulgate rules as to abortions.
- Board of Human Resources (now the Department of Community Health for these purposes) has power to promulgate rules and regulations governing abortions when the board finds such regulation appropriate to promote or safeguard the public health; the General Assembly not only gave authority to do this but actually directed that it be done. 1973 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 73-24.Abortions in facilities under control of department.
- Abortions in facilities or institutions under supervision and administrative control of department may be regulated. 1973 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 73-24.Scope of regulatory power over abortion clinics or other facilities.
- With respect to regulation of abortion clinics or other facilities which are not statutorily included in Ga. L. 1964, p. 499, § 1 et seq., or Ga. L. 1970, p. 531, § 1 et seq. (see O.C.G.A. Art. 1, Ch. 7, T. 31, or O.C.G.A. Ch. 22, T. 31), the board (now the Department of Community Health for these purposes) is empowered to regulate these facilities as well as the performance of abortions generally. 1973 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 73-24.Authority to regulate abortion procedures subject to constitutional developments.
- Under its purposely broad statutory authority to safeguard public health, as well as under its statutory authority in specific areas of the public health field, the Board of Human Resources (now the Department of Community Health for these purposes) may regulate, for public health purposes, performance of abortion procedures, limited, however, by constitutional doctrines enunciated by the Supreme Court of the United States. 1973 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 73-24.Scope of authority regarding Emergency Medical Services standard.
- Department of Public Health (now the Department of Community Health for these purposes) was authorized pursuant to its general powers to administer those portions of the Emergency Medical Services standard which pertain to gathering, compilation, and publishing of information regarding emergency medical services and injuries produced by motor vehicle accidents; however, there was no authority for the department to establish training and licensing requirements in various areas covered by Emergency Medical Services standard, nor did there exist any enforcement procedures to assure compliance with any such requirements if established. 1967 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 67-355 (see O.C.G.A. § 31-2-1).Power to administer Title XIX of Social Security Act.
- State Department of Public Health (now the Department of Community Health for these purposes) is vested with ample legal authority to administer Title XIX of Social Security Act in Georgia. 1967 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 67-273.Casualty insurance carried by regulated institutions not subject to department's regulation.
- As requirement of carrying adequate casualty insurance is a matter which does not pertain to protection of health and lives of patients in institutions nor to kind and quality of building, equipment, facilities, and institutional services that institutions shall have and use in order to properly care for patients, the Department of Human Resources (now the Department of Community Health for these purposes) cannot legally pass a valid rule requiring institutions to carry adequate casualty insurance. 1967 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 67-177.Erection of highway signs stating local fluoridated water meets department approval.
- As installation of signs on United States and state highways stating that local fluoridated water supply system had been approved by Georgia Department of Public Health (now the Department of Community Health for these purposes) would not in reality affect prevention, correction, and abatement of situations and conditions, which, if not promptly checked, would militate against health of constituents of community, such installation is not within the purview of powers granted to the State Board of Health (now the Department of Community Health for these purposes). 1967 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 67-177.Department's discretion to withhold state funds from a county.
- State Health Department (now Department of Human Resources) has power to withhold at the department's discretion state funds from a county on a variety of grounds, including refusal of county commissioners to approve budget submitted by the county board of health, and can refuse to increase salaries of board of health's staff in line with State Personnel Board rules. 1965-66 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 66-165.
Am. Jur. 2d.
- 39 Am. Jur. 2d, Health, §§ 1, 8 et seq.C.J.S.
- 39A C.J.S., Health and Environment, § 1 et seq.ALR.
- Right of one detained pursuant to quarantine to habeas corpus, 2 A.L.R. 1542.
General delegation of power to guard against spread of contagious disease, 8 A.L.R. 836.
Quarantine of typhoid carrier, 22 A.L.R. 845.
Legality of voluntary nontherapeutic sterilization, 35 A.L.R.3d 1444.
Validity and construction of statute or ordinance prohibiting commercial exhibition of malformed or disfigured persons, 62 A.L.R.3d 1237.
Regulation of business of tattooing, 81 A.L.R.3d 1212.
Propriety of state or local government health officer's warrantless search-post-Camara cases, 53 A.L.R.4th 1168.