HARRISBURG – Rep. Keith Gillespie (R-Hellam) today announced that the House of Representatives has passed his bill, House Bill 1879
, which would amend Title 18 to add “health care practitioners” to the list of protected classes in the event of an 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 health care 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.”
House Bill 1879 was amended by the House of Representatives to also include employees of recreational centers, playgrounds, parks or libraries and local code enforcement officials in the list of protected classes.
The bill was passed by a vote of 173-23 and is now before the Senate for consideration.
Representative Keith Gillespie
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Kevin DiGuiseppe
717.260.6419 (office), 610.937.4679 (cell)