ATLANTA – Georgian lawmakers are considering a reorganization of the public health system that would strip the power of county health boards and give it to the state’s public health commissioner, saying the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the need for ‘a more centralized structure.
Now each county council must approve its local health director, even when multiple counties share a district director that covers more from a dozen counties. Senate Bill 256 would give Public Health Commissioner Kathleen Toomey the power to choose directors without having to get County Council approval, making Toomey their sole boss.
The measure was discussed Friday by the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services without obtaining a vote. This would make county health boards purely consultative, removing any ability to make rules or any requirement that they accept rules set by the state.
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- Headline: Georgia could withdraw public health powers from local councils
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