1. The Laws of New York
  2. Consolidated Laws
  3. Public Health
  4. Article 2: The Department of Health
  5. Title 1: Officers and Employees


Section 201 Functions, powers and duties of the department

Public Health (PBH)

1. The department shall, as provided by law:

  (a) supervise the work and activities of the local boards of health and health officers throughout the state, unless otherwise provided by law;

  (b) supervise and control the registration of births, deaths and marriages;

  (c) supervise the reporting and control of disease;

  (d) engage in research into morbidity and mortality;

  (e) produce, standardize and distribute diagnostic, prophylactic and therapeutic products;

  (f) conduct laboratory examinations for the diagnosis and control of disease;

  (g) promote education in the prevention and control of disease;

  (h) promote or provide diagnostic and therapeutic services for maternal and child health, communicable disease, medical rehabilitation, cancer and other conditions and diseases affecting public health;

  (i) except as otherwise provided by law, license, supervise and regulate maternity hospitals and homes and the occupation of midwifery;

  (j) license, supervise and regulate the manufacture, distribution and use of narcotics;

  (k) maintain and operate such state hospitals, institutions, public health centers and clinics as shall be established in the department;

  (l) supervise and regulate the sanitary aspects of water supplies and sewage disposal and control the pollution of waters of the state;

  (m) supervise and regulate the sanitary aspects of camps, hotels, boarding houses, public eating and drinking establishments, swimming pools, bathing establishments and other businesses and activities affecting public health and, in relation to hotels, boarding houses and temporary residences as defined in the state sanitary code, inspect such facilities (i) where inspections do not otherwise occur under the state uniform fire prevention and building code, (ii) to respond to complaints, or (iii) when otherwise necessary;

  (n) exercise control over and supervise the abatement of nuisances affecting or likely to affect public health;

  (o) advise any local unit of government and the public health officials thereof within the state, in the performance of their official duties and regulate the financial assistance granted by the state in connection with all public health activities;

  (p) receive and expend funds made available for public health purposes pursuant to law;

  (q) license, supervise and regulate the practice of funeral directing and embalming;

  (r) supervise and regulate the public health aspects of ionizing radiation and nonionizing electromagnetic radiation; and may in its discretion license activities within the state affecting or likely to affect public health and relating to radioactive materials, excluding special nuclear materials in quantities sufficient to form a critical mass and excluding the handling and disposal of radioactive wastes and the release of radioactivity to the environment regulated by the state department of environmental conservation;

  (s) administer to the medical and health needs of the ambulant sick and needy Indians on the reservations;

  (u) engage in research into the causes of rocky mountain spotted fever and the prevention thereof and develop programs for the control of ticks, insects and anthropods which act as vectors of disease affecting man, within funds made available for such purposes.

  (v) act as the single state agency for medical assistance pursuant to section three hundred sixty-three-a of the social services law, as amended by this chapter, with responsibility to supervise the plan for medical assistance as required by title XIX of the federal Social Security act, or its successor, and to adopt regulations as may be necessary to implement this plan.

  2. The department shall continue to exercise all of the functions, powers and duties which have been prescribed by law and which are being exercised by it when this chapter takes effect together with such functions, powers and duties as hereafter may be conferred and imposed upon it by law.

  3. All the provisions of this chapter shall apply to the department continued by this chapter and to the commissioner, the public health council and any successor council, and to the divisions, bureaus and officers in such department.