|Activity||The Public Health (Scotland) Act 1867 (30 & 31 Vict., c.101) permitted local authorities (burgh councils and parochial boards) to appoint medical officers of health and to levy a general rate on householders for public health purposes. Only a few local authorities appointed full-time medical officers of health, however.|
The Local Government (Scotland) Act 1889 (52 & 53 Vict., c.50) made it compulsory for county councils to appoint county medical officers of health in order to monitor and oversee the provision of improvements in the health of the county. Shortly afterwards the same requirement was extended to burghs (Burgh Police (Scotland) Act 1892 (55 & 56 Vict., c.55).
The Public Health (Scotland) Act 1897 (60 & 61 Vict., c.38) authorised the Local Government Board for Scotland to compile regulations concerning the duties of medical officers of health. These included the isolation and treatment of those suffering from infectious diseases and the identification of the causes of such diseases.
After the introduction of the National Health Service in 1948 some of the duties of medical officers of health were removed from local government, but they continued to be responsible for the provision of community and public health services. The National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1972 (c.58) transferred this role to the new Health Boards and the post of medical officer of health ceased to exist. A number of miscellaneous environmental health services remained. In 1975 they became part of the functions of district or islands councils (Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973, c.65).