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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: May 8, 2020 04:23 PM
From: Representative Rich Irvin
To: All House members
Subject: Requiring DOH to Provide PPE to all Hospitals
I plan to introduce legislation requiring the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) to continue to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to all hospitals that have decided to conduct elective surgeries during this COVID-19 pandemic.

The Commonwealth is in an unprecedented time where we need to come together and do what is right for the residents of our state. Those residents not only include those suffering from COVID-19 and our healthcare workers but those who are experiencing pain, discomfort, and other conditions that require elective procedures. Elective surgeries prevent more serious medical problems and improve our resident’s quality of life.

Currently, Hospital systems across the state are losing billions of dollars which threaten their very existence. The Commonwealth should not be deterring them from conducting elective surgeries safely and responsibly.
My legislation would require the DOH to provide PPE to all hospitals throughout the Commonwealth in order for them to conduct elective procedures. Prior to COVID-19, the DOH provided hospitals with masks, gowns, gloves and other protective equipment. Now the DOH is refusing to provide this equipment to hospitals and instead focusing on keeping these much-needed supplies for the long-term care living facilities.
While I understand, 68% of the deaths have occurred in long-term care nursing homes it is important that we do our best to prevent any further deaths and allow Pennsylvanians to receive much needed (and long overdue) medical care.

These hospitals should not be punished by the DOH for conducting procedures that are deemed necessary by a physician. It is time we take a stand and do what’s right. I intend to continue protecting hospital workers and other essential employees, but in order to do this we must ensure that they are wearing the proper gear so they can continue treating the patients of Pennsylvania.

I encourage you to join me in co-sponsoring this important piece of legislation.