No one should be subject to intimidation nor violence as a part of their employment. Yet our health care workers increasingly find themselves the targets of physical violence and verbal abuse. The American Hospital Association reports that two thirds of all emergency department physicians report being assaulted, with a quarter of them experiencing assaults multiple times per week. Our health care workers – who have already devoted their lives to helping and healing others – deserve to feel safe while at work.
To better protect these caring professionals in our Commonwealth, we will be introducing legislation that will prohibit intimidation of and making threats against health care workers. Similar legislation was recently enacted by our neighbor New Jersey, and organizations like the American Hospital Association and the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania have supported federal legislation that would create penalties for those who knowingly assault and intimidate hospital employees.
It is time for Pennsylvania to step up and provide our health care workers with additional protections to help ensure a safe work environment. We hope that you will join us.