A COURT has ordered that a homeless man with tuberculosis be kept in hospital against his will to protect the public from an outbreak of the disease.
The man, referred to in court documents as TC, has been subjected to a public health order that he be detained ''subject to such security as may be considered necessary in hospital''.
Most patients with tuberculosis are hospitalised when infectious and then closely monitored during treatment while they live within the community.
The NSW Health Department applied to the Administrative Decisions Tribunal to extend a previous public health order made in January to detain the man at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital for treatment after the ''very difficult and unco-operative patient'' had resisted numerous treatment attempts.
The Chief Health Officer of NSW, Dr Kerry Chant, certified that the man's behaviour, while suffering from the disease, was a danger to public health.
There are about 1000 new cases of tuberculosis in Australia each year.