– Legislation that would allow for an extension of waiver provisions for pediatric services in Pennsylvania during the COVID-19 emergency, sponsored by Rep. Tarah Toohil (R-Luzerne), was advanced by the House Health Committee.
Under House Bill 2528
, pediatric services are defined as all pediatricians and pediatric specialists, including dentists, therapists, trauma specialists and psychiatrists. They would be allowed to practice while adhering to social distancing guidelines and other mitigation measures defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“I am grateful this legislation is moving quickly through the process and thank Chairman Kathy Rapp for scheduling the vote,” said Toohil. “It is important that pediatric services continue to be available throughout the COVID-19 emergency to ensure the health and safety of Pennsylvania’s young people.”
Toohil added that pediatricians and pediatric specialists are frequent reporters of child abuse, but there is concern cases are being missed due to the health crisis.
During the meeting, Republican committee members argued at length that many patients are not seeking preventative care and screenings during the pandemic, which is leading to overlooked conditions that could become terminal.
The committee also voted to advance companion legislation, sponsored by Rep. Greg Rothman (R-Cumberland), that would allow for an extension of waiver provisions for licensed health care practitioners, such as dentists, optometrists and audiologists.
“Both of these bills seek clarity for patients in need of care and for medical providers, who want to remain open to provide that care,” Toohil said. “They are based on a policy that government should not be preventing or dissuading patients from accessing their doctors.”
The bills, which gained committee approval on Wednesday, now go to the full House for consideration.
Representative Tarah Toohil
116th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Contact: Rep. Toohilâ€™s Office
RepToohil.com / Facebook.com/RepToohil