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H. No. 4075
AN ACT MANDATING OCULAR PROPHYLAXIS ON NEWBORNS Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines SECTION 1. Title. – This Act shall be known as the “Mandatory Ocular Prophylaxis on Newborns Act of 2011”.
(a) Ophthalmia neonatorum refers to any disease or condition of the eye, or eyes of an infant in which there is inflammation, swelling or redness in either one or both eyes, either apart from or together with purulent discharge from the eye or eyes, at any time within two (2) weeks after the birth of such infant, independent of the nature of the infection.
(b) Ocular prophylaxis refers to one of the interventions in a spectrum of preventive measures to stop the course of ophthalmia neonatorum. (c) Healthcare practitioner refers to physicians, midwives and those authorized by law to attend at childbirth. (d) Health institutions refers to hospitals, health infirmaries, health centers, lying-in centers or puericulture centers with obstetrical and pediatric (e) Newborn refers to a child from the time of complete delivery to (f) Local health officer refers to city or municipal health officer. SEC. 3. Obligation to Inform. – Any healthcare practitioner who delivers or assists in the delivery of a newborn in the Philippines shall, prior to delivery, inform the parents or legal guardian of the newborn of the availability, nature and benefits of ocular prophylaxis. SEC. 4. Mandatory Application of Ocular Prophylaxis. – It shall be the duty of any healthcare practitioner who attends or assists at the birth of a child, to instill in each eye of the newborn, as soon as possible, 1% tetracycline ophthalmic ointment or 0.5% erythromycin ophthalmic ointment or 1% silver nitrate aqueous solution, all in a single application, or some other equally effective prophylactic for the prevention of ophthalmia neonatorum approved by the Department of Health (DOH): Provided, That newborns delivered outside a health institution where the services of a physician, nurse or midwife are not immediately available should be brought to any health institution by the parent or legal guardian to receive the desired newborn care services. Any observation of the condition defined in Section 2(a) of this Act, the facts of application of ocular prophylaxis and of compliance with Section 3 hereof, and/or the written refusal referred to in Section 5, shall form part of the medical records of the newborn and copies of which shall be submitted by the healthcare practitioner to the local health officer not later than thirty (30) days Such reports and records shall be deemed privileged information and shall not be made available to the public without the prior consent of the mother, or the child upon reaching the age of majority, or the approval of a SEC. 5. Right to Refuse by Parents/Legal Guardian. – A parent or legal guardian may refuse the application of ocular prophylaxis in writing: Provided, That in the absence of such written refusal, the healthcare practitioner should apply eye prophylaxis: Provided, further, That the obligation referred to in Section 3 of this Act shall first be complied with prior to acceptance of the written refusal. A copy of this refusal documentation shall be made part of the newborn’s medical record. SEC. 6. Duty of Health Institution. – It is the duty of all health institutions to post and keep posted in conspicuous places in their institution, copies of this Act, and to instruct persons professionally employed in such institutions and places regarding their duties under this Act, and to maintain such records of cases of ophthalmia neonatorum in the manner and form SEC. 7. Duty of Local Health Officer. – The local health officer shall: (a) Investigate each case of ophthalmia neonatorum reported to him, and any other such case as may come to his attention: Provided, That he cannot do so without the prior consent of the parents/legal guardian of the (b) Report all cases of ophthalmia neonatorum and the results of all such investigations as he may make, to the DOH in the manner and form SEC. 8. Duty of the Department of Health. – The DOH shall: (b) Provide for printing, publication and distribution to all health institutions and healthcare practitioners, advice and information on the proper use of scientific prophylactic for ophthalmia neonatorum, the necessity for the prompt and effective treatment thereof, together with copies of this Act; (c) Prepare the appropriate documentary forms and furnish them to all local health officers for distribution to healthcare practitioners free of charge; (d) Report any and all violations of this Act to the Office of the Prosecutor of the province where said violations are committed. (A) Any person who shall violate the first paragraph of Section 4 of this Act shall suffer the following penalties: (a) For the first conviction, he shall suffer the penalty or fine of not less than Ten thousand pesos (Pl0,000.00) but not exceeding Twenty thousand (b) For the second conviction, he shall suffer the penalty or fine of not less than Twenty thousand pesos (P20,000.00) but not exceeding Thirty thousand pesos (P30,000.00) and suspension of his license to practice his (c) For the third conviction, he shall suffer the penalty or fine of not less than Thirty thousand pesos (P30,000.00) but not exceeding Fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00) and suspension of his license to practice his profession for one (1) year, but in no case shall such suspension be less than thirty (30) days. (B) Any person who shall, in any manner, violate the third paragraph of Section 4 hereof shall suffer the penalty of imprisonment of not less than six (6) months but not more than one (1) year and a fine of not less than Ten thousand pesos (Pl0,000.00) but not more than Twenty thousand pesos (P20,000.00), without prejudice to liabilities provided under other penal laws. SEC. 10. Implementing Rules and Regulations. – The Secretary of the DOH, in consultation with the concerned sectors, shall issue such guidelines, orders or rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out the provisions SEC. 11. Separability Clause. – Any law, decree, ordinance or rule and regulation which is inconsistent with or contrary to the provisions of this SEC. 12. Effectivity Clause. – This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its complete publication in the Official Gazette or in at least two (2) national newspapers of general circulation.


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