Minnesota Department of Health Required to Hold Public Hearing on Health Surveillance Rules

(St. Paul, Minnesota) - In response to proposed expansion of health surveillance by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the Citizens' Council on Health Care (CCHC) initiated an email campaign. Still two days away from the deadline for meeting the required quota of requests for a public hearing, the email campaign has succeeded in requiring MDH to hold a hearing on proposed amendments to the Communicable Disease Reporting rules.

"The state health department is expanding its surveillance authority. It's important that the public have the opportunity to express their concerns fully before any decision is made," says Twila Brase, president of CCHC.

The Minnesota Department of Health issued a notice of intent to adopt the rules without a public hearing. The notice offered the public an opportunity to comment on the proposed amendments to the rule, to oppose the entire set of rules, and/or to request that a public hearing be held. The deadline for providing comments or requesting a hearing is Wednesday, February 2, at 4:30 p.m. A public hearing is required if at least 25 requests for a public hearing are received by the department.

CCHC has been informed by the department that sufficient requests for a public hearing have been received, and that a hearing before an administrative law judge will be held on Monday, February 14.

"Any proposed expansion of government surveillance deserves a very public debate. We're pleased to know that that debate will happen," says Brase.

MDH Documents (notice, proposed rule): http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/idepc/dtopics/reportable/newrule/index.html

Media Contact:

Twila Brase, President
Phone: 651-646-8935 (office)