On Thursday, March 1, 2018, Healthcare workers and first responders from across South Carolina came together at the State House to ask for safer workplaces.
They were there in support of legislation put forth before the South Carolina General Assembly would create a safer environment for caregivers and first responders by providing enhanced penalties for those who commit acts of violence against them. Similar bills sponsored by Representative Peter McCoy (R-Charleston) in the House and Senator Thomas Alexander (R-Oconee) in the Senate are currently heading to committee.
South Carolina is one of only three states without enhanced penalties for violence against healthcare workers, according to an independent study published by the New England Journal of Medicine.
The Assembly is currently considering similar legislation to protect dogs and horses—yet no such protection yet exists for South Carolina’s healthcare community. SCHA is calling for state legislators to work with Representative McCoy and Senator Alexander to extend the same consideration to the dedicated people who put their lives on the line every day to advance health and safety in South Carolina.
“Every day brave nurses, doctors, firefighters and EMTs put the health and safety of others before their own. And every day, we aren’t providing these dedicated caregivers and public servants with a safe environment that protects them from violence. It’s time to change that,” says Senator Alexander.
These efforts are supported by the state’s healthcare community, including the South Carolina Medical Association, South Carolina Nurses Association, the South Carolina Health Care Association, South Carolina Chapter of Emergency Physicians, South Carolina Emergency Nurses Association, South Carolina Trauma Association, and the South Carolina Emergency Medical Services Association.
To keep up with the debate around this issue and advocate for this legislation, please join our LEAd Grassroots Network here.