HB1164, An Act Strengthening the Penalty for Assault or Assault and Battery on Emergency Medical Technicians, Ambulance Operators, Ambulance Attendants or Health Care Providers

Joint Committee on the Judiciary

The Massachusetts Hospital Association (MHA), on behalf of its member hospitals and health systems, appreciates this opportunity to offer testimony in support of HB1164, which seeks to amend and clarify the protections afforded to the Commonwealth’s health care workforce.

Section 13I of Chapter 265 of the General Laws currently establishes heightened penalties for assault and battery on a health care provider, emergency medical technician, ambulance operator or attendant while they are treating or transporting a person in the line of duty. HB1164 would stiffen the penalties included in the current law and apply the new penalties to any assault and battery committed upon these members of the health care workforce while they are working.

Health care professionals are part of a 24/7 system of care that can be both turbulent and stressful for all involved. By strengthening the penalties for violent acts committed against these caregivers in the line of duty, the passage of HB1164 will hopefully serve as a deterrent to such acts and grant added protection for those individuals that play a vital daily role in preserving the lives of all individuals. We urge the committee to give this bill a favorable report.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this important matter. If you have any questions or require further information, please contact Michael Sroczynski, MHA's Vice President of Government Advocacy, at (781) 262-6055 or msroczynski@mhalink.org.