PUNJAB HEPATITIS ACT 2018
(Act XII of 2018)
[20 March 2018]
An Act to provide for
surveillance, diagnosis and treatment of
necessary to provide for the surveillance, diagnosis and treatment of
hepatitis, for the enforcement of measures to prevent and control its spread
and for incidental purposes.
Be it enacted by the
Provincial Assembly of the Punjab as follows:
Short title, extent and commencement.–
(1) This Act may be cited
as the Punjab Hepatitis Act 2018.
It extends to whole of the Punjab.
It shall come into force at once.
In this Act:
(a) “Act” means the Punjab Hepatitis Act 2018;
(b) “Director General” means the Director General Health Services,
(c) “Government” means Government of the Punjab;
(d) “healthcare facility” means a hospital,
diagnostic center, medical clinic, nursing home,
maternity home, dental clinic, homeopathy clinic,
tibb clinic, acupuncture clinic, physiotherapy clinic or
any other premises or conveyance, wholly or partly, used for providing
(e) “health inspector” means a health
inspector appointed under the Act and includes a person vested with the
powers of a health inspector;
“hepatitis” means hepatitis-B or
(g) “hepatitis test” means a medical
procedure administered for diagnostic or clinical purposes to determine the
presence or otherwise of hepatitis virus in an individual;
“hepatitis transmission" means the
transfer of hepatitis to an uninfected person through any mode of
(i) “infant” means a child below the age
of one year;
(j) “medical practitioner” means a doctor
registered with Pakistan Medical and Dental Council;
(k) "patient" means a person who has been
diagnosed as suffering from hepatitis virus infection;
(l) "prescribed" means prescribed by the
"rules" means the rules made under the Act;
(n) “surgical procedure” means a procedure involving incision of any
part of human body with any instrument for medical purposes and includes a
dental procedure, ear or nose piercing or circumcision; and
(o) “Surveillance System” means the system of surveillance
established under the Act.
(1) The Government shall, by notification, establish a Surveillance System
for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of hepatitis and for the support
The Surveillance System shall be responsible for:
(a) provision of services for the
diagnosis of hepatitis, treatment of patients and for counseling the
patients and their families;
(b) provision of risk-reduction
information, emotional support and other social and health safety measures
for the patients;
(c) conduct of surveillance and
epidemiological studies of the patients;
(d) collection and analysis of data and
record of patients including vaccination history and, subject to the Act,
keep confidential that data and record;
(e) developing guidelines and arranging training for medical
practitioners and healthcare workers for the prevention, detection,
diagnosis, treatment, therapeutic decision-making and against transmission
and spread of hepatitis;
(f) coordination with educational
institutions for purposes of awareness campaigns about hepatitis;
(g) devising and commissioning of
communication and awareness strategies for the prevention and treatment of
(h) ensuring periodic
hepatitis tests for healthcare workers and members of the
population vulnerable to hepatitis; and
(i) such other matters as may be
prescribed or as the Government may assign.
The Surveillance System shall be run, managed and carried out, in the
prescribed manner, under the direct supervision and control of the Director
The Director General may, by general or special order,
cause the Surveillance System or a part thereof, to be carried out by
any officer subordinate to him or by such other person as may be prescribed.
Responsibility of a healthcare facility.–
(1) The information about a patient as a result of hepatitis test at a
healthcare facility shall immediately be sent to the Director General by
that healthcare facility in the prescribed manner.
(2) The healthcare facility shall not itself subject the patient mentioned
in subsection (1) to another hepatitis test but shall refer him to another
healthcare facility for the second test after counseling him about the
Auto-disabled syringes and needles.–
(1) Subject to the rules, a pharmacy, medical store or any other person
shall not sell or transfer a syringe or needle except an auto-disabled
syringe or needle of such measurement as is prescribed.
The Government may, by notification, allow a healthcare facility or a class
of healthcare facilities to use standard syringes and needles or
auto-disabled syringes or needles beyond specific measurement under the
supervision of a medical practitioner subject to their proper disposal.
Hospital waste disposal.–
A healthcare facility shall ensure timely and proper disposal of hospital
waste including disposal of used syringes, needles and biomedical waste.
Safe blood transfusion.–
A person shall not inject or allow any other person to inject blood, blood
component or blood product unless it is:
prescribed by a medical practitioner;
(b) screened and safe blood in terms of
the Punjab Blood Transfusion Safety Act 2016
(XLVI of 2016); and
transfused in the prescribed manner.
Dialysis and surgeries.–
(1) A healthcare facility shall not conduct or allow to be conducted
dialysis of a person unless he is subjected to a hepatitis test.
Subject to the rules and advice of a medical practitioner, the dialysis of a
patient may be conducted on the dialysis machine exclusively allocated for
the dialysis of such patients.
healthcare facility or any other person shall ensure previous sterilization
of equipment used in any surgical procedure including pricking of a human
No person shall conduct a dialysis or surgical process unless he possesses
the requisite competence, skill and authority for the purpose.
(1) A medical practitioner shall not transplant human organ or tissue of a
donor to a recipient unless both of them are subjected to a prior hepatitis
Subject to the rules and any other law, a patient may donate an organ or
tissue to another patient with the same genotype of hepatitis.
The healthcare facility
may, in the prescribed manner, offer counseling and information to a
patient, members of his family, any other person related to him and the
healthcare workers about the possible risk of hepatitis transmission when
exposed to hepatitis.
(1) The Government may provide for a hepatitis test, diagnosis and treatment
at any public healthcare facility.
The Government shall make arrangements for the maintenance of data and
record of the patients and cause transmission of such data and record to the
The Government may, from time to time, launch an awareness campaign about:
(a) the modes of transmission of
(b) preventive measures for protection
against hepatitis; and
general awareness on the incidence of hepatitis.
Duties of certain persons.–
(1) The owner of a saloon, beauty parlor or
barber shop shall, in the prescribed manner, display at his workplace
necessary preventive measures against transmission of hepatitis.
An overseas employment or studies’ agency shall, in the prescribed manner,
display at its business place information for the prospective overseas
travellers about the risks of hepatitis transmission.
The Government may provide for a free of charge hepatitis test at any public
healthcare facility or provide incentive to a private healthcare facility
for the test at such subsidized rates as may be prescribed.
Obligations towards a pregnant woman.–
(1) A healthcare facility shall conduct a hepatitis test of a pregnant woman
visiting that facility for any treatment and shall ensure that she receives
appropriate information and counselling on the implications of the incidence
of hepatitis for her and the foetus.
(2) The healthcare facility shall advise the pregnant woman about the
proper care and the follow-up tests at regular intervals.
Mandatory hepatitis test.–
(1) No one will join a Government service or
employment in relation to the affairs of the Province or a body or authority
established or controlled by the Government or a factory or an
establishment, unless he produces a certificate of the hepatitis test.
(2) Nothing contained in
this section and subject to such exceptions as may be prescribed, shall be
construed to permit an employer to refuse employment to a patient or his
retention in employment on the ground that he suffers from hepatitis.
(3) In this section, the
expressions ‘factory’ and ‘establishment’ shall have the same meanings as
respectively assigned to them under the Factories Act, 1934 (XXV of 1934)
and the Punjab Shops and Establishments Ordinance, 1969 (VIII of 1969).
(4) A player or
sportsman shall not be allowed to participate in the Provincial games or the
games held by the Provincial Sports Board unless he produces a certificate
from a public healthcare facility indicating that he is not a patient.
Testing of prisoners.–
The Jail Superintendent, shall, as soon as may be but not
later than seven days after the inmate or prisoner is lodged in the prison,
cause every inmate or prisoner subjected to a hepatitis test.
Test of persons involved in an occurrence.–
(1) A court may, on its own accord or on the
application of a public prosecutor or victim of an offence or an accused,
direct any public healthcare facility to subject the victim or the accused
to a hepatitis test when the occurrence suggests transfer of bodily fluids
copy of the report from the public healthcare facility, showing the victim
or the accused to be a patient, shall be supplied to each of them.
Subject to the Act and the rules, the Government may make hepatitis-B
vaccine available at every public healthcare facility and provide incentive
to private healthcare facilities for administering hepatitis-B vaccine to
the public at such subsidized rates as may be prescribed.
Compulsory vaccination of infants.–
(1) Subject to exemption under subsection (2), it shall be the duty of a
parent or guardian to cause vaccination for hepatitis-B administered to an
(2) A parent or
guardian may, in relation to administering vaccine for hepatitis-B to an
infant, obtain an exemption, in the prescribed form, from a medical
practitioner designated by the Government for such period as is determined
by the medical practitioner.
(1) The Government may establish, maintain or declare healthcare facilities
to administer vaccination to all infants and shall constitute teams of
healthcare workers to outreach them.
A healthcare facility shall display at prominent
place information about the vaccination of hepatitis-B and special programme
for vaccination campaigns for the infants.
(3) A healthcare worker
shall administer vaccine of hepatitis-B to all infants residing within the
area allocated to him.
(4) A designated
healthcare facility shall cause issuance of a certificate of vaccination of
hepatitis-B to the parent or guardian of the infant to whom vaccine has been
(5) A copy of the
certificate under subsection (4) shall be sent to the relevant local
authority for making it part of the birth register maintained by it.
Information of vaccination.–
(1) A copy of the medical exemption under section 20 shall, within ninety
days of its issuance, be sent by the parent or guardian of the infant to the
relevant local authority.
The local authority shall incorporate the information of vaccination under
the preceding section or exemption in the birth register of the infant and
shall, in the prescribed manner, communicate the information to the
(3) A local
authority shall not issue a birth certificate of an infant when information
of hepatitis-B vaccination of that infant has not been provided to it.
23. Duty of
an educational institution.–
A primary or elementary school or madrassah shall, at the time of
admission of a child, enquire about the administration of vaccination of
hepatitis-B to that child and shall communicate the information to the
nearest healthcare facility.
Vaccination of certain
The Government may, by general or special order, direct that a class of
persons shall, within the time specified in the order, get administered
themselves vaccination of hepatitis-B and make a report of such vaccination
to the Surveillance System.
Inspectors.– (1) The Government may, by
notification in the official Gazette, appoint health inspectors or confer
powers of a health inspector on any person for a specified area.
(2) A team of
two or more health inspectors may, in the prescribed manner, inspect any
healthcare facility, barber shop, saloon or any other similar place where
preventive measures are required to be taken under the Act.
26. Powers of
A team of two or more health inspectors may:
(a) in the prescribed
manner, issue directions to any person for compliance with the provisions of
the Act and the rules within such reasonable time as he may determine and if
that person fails to do so within the stipulated time, the health inspector
may, after due notice, award him administrative penalty at the rate of
rupees five thousand for each day the default continues; and
initiate prosecution against the person committing an offence under
(1) A patient who
intentionally transmits hepatitis to a healthy person shall be liable to
imprisonment which may extend to one month and fine which may extend to
fifty thousand rupees.
Any person who publishes or causes publishing of the confidential health
information of a patient in contravention of the Act shall be liable to
imprisonment which may extend to three months and fine which may extend to
one hundred thousand rupees.
(3) Any person who intentionally transmits or exposes
others to the risk of hepatitis transmission or attempts to transmit
hepatitis shall be liable to imprisonment which may extend to three years
and fine which may extend to two hundred thousand rupees.
Any person, who is under a duty to prevent transmission of hepatitis,
negligently aids or abets transmission of hepatitis, shall be liable to
imprisonment which may extend to six months and fine which may extend to
three million rupees.
(5) Any person who violates any provisions of the Act for which
no punishment is otherwise provided in the Act shall be liable to
imprisonment for a term which may extend to one month and fine which may
extend to fifty thousand rupees.
28. Offences by
(1) Where an offence under the Act is committed by a company or a firm,
every person, who at the time of the commission of the offence, is a
director or partner in that company or, as the case may be, firm, shall be
liable to punishment under the Act as if the offence has been committed by
Notwithstanding anything contained in subsection (1), where it is proved
that the commission of offence under the Act, is caused due to negligence of
any director, manager, secretary or other officer of the company or a firm,
such director, manager, secretary or other officer shall also be liable to
punishment under the Act.
An offence under the Act shall be non-cognizable and shall be tried in a
summary manner in accordance with the provisions of Chapter XXII of the Code
of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (V of 1898), except the offence under
subsection (3) of section 27 of the Act.
30. Compounding of
(1) Subject to subsection (2), the Government or an officer authorized in
this behalf by the Government, may at any stage, compound an offence under
the Act subject to the deposit of penalty which shall not be less than
twenty-five thousand rupees.
(2) An offence
committed by a previous convict under the Act shall not be compounded under
servants.– A Health Inspector and every member
of the staff engaged in the Surveillance System shall be deemed to be a
public servant under section 21 of the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860 (XLV of
32. Monitoring and
(1) The Director General shall, in January each year, submit a report on the
incidence of hepatitis in the Province to the Government.
(2) The report
(a) the number of recorded patients in the
Province, mapping the places of highest concentrations;
(b) reasons for increase or decrease in
the number of patients;
(c) performance of the Surveillance System
and health inspectors;
(d) recommendations for combating
transmission of hepatitis and welfare of patients; and
(e) monitoring and evaluation of
performance audit for enforcement of the Act.
Government shall take appropriate action and give directions in the light of
the report and the Director General shall give effect to such directions.
Government shall, at least once in a year, conduct or cause to be conducted,
monitoring and evaluation or performance audit of the health inspectors and
(5) On the
basis of the monitoring and evaluation conducted under subsection (1), the
Government shall give appropriate directions to the Director General or to
any other authority for purposes of improving the Surveillance System and
discharge of functions under the Act.
33. Delegation of
The Government may direct that any power exercisable by it under the Act
shall, in such circumstances and under such conditions as it may determine,
be exercisable also by an officer subordinate to it or by a local government
No suit, prosecution or other legal proceedings shall lie against the
Government, Director General or any other person engaged in the Surveillance
System for anything which is in good faith done or intended to be done under
the Act or the rules.
35. Power to make rules.–
(1) The Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, make rules
to carry out the purposes of the Act.
Without prejudice to the generality of provisions of subsection (1), the
rules may provide for any of the following matters:
hepatitis testing and vaccination of hepatitis-B;
epidemiological studies of the hepatitis positive
recognition of testing
centers and pathology laboratories for conducting hepatitis tests;
technologies for self-testing of hepatitis;
data protection of data relating to personal or
infection related information of the patients;
universal precautions and post exposure
syringes and needles;
drug substitution, drug maintenance and
needle-syringe exchange programme;
the procedures to be followed by the health
hepatitis surveillance and information system;
setting up a toll free help line.
36. Removal of
If any difficulty arises in giving effect to the provisions of the Act, the
Government may, by an order, not inconsistent with the provisions of the
Act, remove the difficulty.
Ordinance 2017 (XV of 2017) is hereby repealed.