OBJECTIVE: To analyse the use of compulsory detention in the context of a new national tuberculosis (TB) control programme launched in 1997.
METHODS: A retrospective review was made of the use of compulsory detention in the management of infectious TB before and after the initiation of a new TB control programme, using data from the central TB registry in the Ministry of Health and the charts of each patient.
RESULTS: Between 1994 and 2001, 13 recalcitrant patients out of 3056 (0.43%) cases of pulmonary TB were brought to trial. Eleven patients were detained. All were either hospitalized under a court order and, when failing to comply with the order, hospitalized in prison, or referred directly to a prison hospital. Twelve of 13 (92%) patients were new immigrants. After the new programme was launched, proportionately fewer patients were brought to trial [6/943 (0.64%) in 1994-1996 compared with 7/2113 (0.33%) in 1997-2001].
CONCLUSION: The reduction in the number of individuals detained could be viewed as an improvement in TB control due to the new TB control programme. It remains to be shown whether these individuals, most of whom had drug-resistant strains of TB, posed a sufficient threat to public health to justify detention.
Weiler-Ravel, D.; Leventhal, A.; Coker, R.J.; Chemtob, D. Compulsory detention of recalcitrant tuberculosis patients in the context of a new tuberculosis control programme in Israel. Public Health (2004) 118 (5) 323-328. [DOI: 10.1016/j.puhe.2003.10.005]