PHOENIX — Gov. Doug Ducey last week issued an executive order to help boost medical staffing levels and provide certainty and liability protections to health care professionals serving on the front lines. The order provides protections to health care professionals treating patients during the COVID-19 health emergency, while also protecting patients against negligence or reckless misconduct.
At least seven other states across the country, including Illinois and Kentucky, have taken similar measures to ensure our health care system is properly staffed and patients have the care they need.
“Our number-one focus is taking action to protect Arizonans’ health and safety,” said Gov. Ducey. “Today’s order is issued in close consultation with public health officials and aligns with similar ‘Good Samaritan’ protections Arizona has provided to citizens acting in good faith during emergency situations. It provides our health care heroes with certainty, and will ensure we're doing all we can to boost staffing at our hospitals.”
In support of the COVID-19 public health emergency, the executive order provides civil liability protections to the following:
Licensed health care professionals and volunteer health professionals who are registered and recruited through the Arizona Emergency System for the Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals; Emergency Medical Care Technicians; and Arizona health care institutions, treatment facilities and other sites designated by the Arizona Department of Health Services to aid in the state’s response to the COVID-19 public health emergency.
The governor also issued an Executive Order earlier this week to enhance and reinforce health protection in Arizona residential care institutions, nursing care institutions and related health care facilities. The order requires all staff to use appropriate personal protective equipment, implement symptom checks for those entering the facility, and offer electronic communication if visitation is restricted and more.
Additionally, Gov. Ducey recently issued an executive order to ensure Arizona hospitals increase capacity to prepare for a potential influx of patients due to COVID-19. The order requires hospitals to increase the amount of hospital bed capacity in the state, take steps to optimize staffing levels and maximize critical resources.