Last week, State Senator Nick Collins and State Representative David Biele joined their colleagues in the Massachusetts State Senate and House of Representatives in passing legislation to protect those providing critical health care services during the COVID-19 emergency.
Under the legislation, health care professionals, facilities and volunteer organizations assisting in the state’s efforts to respond and treat COVID-19 would be protected from suit and civil liability for alleged damages related to the virus. Health care facilities and professionals would still be subject to consumer complaints brought by the Attorney General and protections would not extend to acts of negligence, recklessness, or intent to harm or acts of discrimination. These protections would apply retroactively to March 10, 2020, and remain in effect for the duration of the State of Emergency.
“I am proud of the work we are doing in the Massachusetts Legislature to support our frontline workers, whether through increased funding for hospitals and community health centers, advancing hazard pay legislation, or though this new law,” said Senator Collins. “In this difficult time it’s important that these workers know we have their back.”
“We must continue to support our health care professions and health care facilities on the front line of this public health emergency,” said Rep. Biele. “This legislation will ensure that our health care system can expand to help an increasing number of patients during the COVID-19 surge and that our health care professionals focus on the important work of combating COVID-19 and saving lives.”
This bill, the latest action by the Legislature to address the COVID-19 public health crisis and its effects on Massachusetts, has been signed by the Governor.