Committee Advances Bill to Protect Health Care Workers
HARRISBURG – Rep. Keith Gillespie (R-Hellam) announced that the House Judiciary Committee has passed his bill, House Bill 1879. This bill would amend Title 18 to add “health care practitioners” to the list of protected classes in the event of assault. Under the bill, the penalty for an assault on a health care practitioner, while in the performance of duty, would be increased from a misdemeanor to a felony of the second degree.

Currently, Title 18 Section 2702(c) provides that EMS personnel are considered a protected class. This bill would add health care practitioners to that list. Health care practitioners include social workers, pharmacists, audiologists, physical therapists, occupational therapists and other health care workers not necessarily found in a hospital.

“I worked as a healthcare provider for 34 years prior to my election to the General Assembly. In that time, I saw an alarming number of assaults on providers, including myself,” said Gillespie. “These health care workers are also worthy of the same level of protection as EMS workers. It is time to close the loophole in this statute and protect all who are caring for patients.”

The bill was passed without amendment by a vote of 19-4 and is now before the House of Representatives for consideration.

Representative Keith Gillespie
47th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Kevin DiGuiseppe
717.260.6419 (office), 610.937.4679 (cell)