NATIONAL PUBLIC HEALTH RESEARCH
—(1) The Director may, if he considers it to be in the public interest, from time to time undertake or facilitate such public health research as he thinks necessary to increase or acquire new knowledge on, or to discover or create new or improved materials, devices, processes or products for the detection, prevention or treatment of —
any infectious disease; or
any other disease which is, or which the Minister suspects to be, of an infectious nature, and which the Minister, by notification in the Gazette, declares to be a disease to which this section applies.
(2) In deciding whether to undertake or facilitate any public health research under subsection (1), the Director shall consider —
whether there is an outbreak or a significant likelihood of an outbreak in Singapore of the disease to which the research relates;
whether the disease to which the research relates poses a substantial risk of a significant number of human fatalities or incidents of serious disability in Singapore; and
whether the new knowledge that may be acquired or the new or improved materials, devices, processes or products that may be discovered or created as a result of the research will result in any significant public health benefit to Singapore.
(3) For the purposes of any research under subsection (1), the Director may —
require any person to furnish him, within such time as the Director may specify, with —
such information in the possession or control of that person as the Director may consider necessary or appropriate; and
any sample (including any human sample) in the possession or control of that person, whether taken pursuant to this Act or otherwise, as the Director may consider necessary or appropriate; and
require any medical practitioner, over such period as the Director may specify, to obtain, with the requisite consent, such information or samples (including human samples) as the Director may consider necessary or appropriate from the patients under his care, and to furnish such information or samples to the Director.
(4) Where any person is required by the Director to furnish any information or human sample under subsection (3), he shall cause the information or human sample to be anonymised before it is furnished to the Director.
(5) For the purpose of subsection (1), the Director may, subject to such conditions as he thinks fit to impose —
send any anonymised information or human sample received by him under subsection (3) to a third party to carry out such test, examination or analysis as the Director may consider necessary; or
(6) It shall be an offence for any person —
without reasonable excuse, to refuse to furnish any information or sample when required to do so by the Director under subsection (3);
to deliberately identify or attempt to identify, from any anonymised information or human sample received by him from the Director pursuant to subsection (3), the identity of the person to whom the information relates or from whom the human sample was obtained; or
(7) In this section —
“anonymised”, in relation to any information or human sample, means the removal of identifying details from the information or sample so that the identity of the person from whom the information or sample was obtained cannot be readily discovered or ascertained by the recipient of the information or sample;
“human sample” means a specimen of any substance or matter obtained from any person;
“requisite consent” means —
the consent, given in the prescribed form and manner, of the person from whom any information or sample is to be obtained under subsection (3)(b); or
where the person referred to in paragraph (a) is unable to give his own consent because of his age, infirmity of mind or body or any other cause, the consent, given in the prescribed form and manner, of such other person who is authorised by the regulations to give such consent for and on his behalf.