Gov. Wolf Vetoes Civil Immunity Protections Bill, Signs Bill Allowing Pharmacists to Perform Strep Tests
Last Updated: Nov 20, 2020
Despite the strong advocacy efforts of PAMED and other stakeholders, including physician advocates, Gov. Tom Wolf vetoed HB 1737 late this afternoon. This legislation sought to grant civil immunity protections to all health care practitioners during the COVID-19 pandemic. While the governor has previously granted limited protections through executive order, this legislation would have expanded liability protections to include all frontline practitioners in this most unprecedented time.
Gov. Wolf also signed HB 770 into law, despite patient safety concerns raised by PAMED. This piece of legislation will grant pharmacists the authority to perform rapid strep tests. Again, we understand that this legislation was passed with the current pandemic in mind, but PAMED believes that patient safety should never be compromised. Further, it is imperative that we continue to work toward health care cost containment whenever possible. This legislation not only jeopardizes patient safety but will also lead to increased health care costs to consumers.
PAMED is disappointed in these actions. We will continue our tireless advocacy for the best interests of Pennsylvania physicians and patients.