Volunteer doctors, nurses get civil immunity under new law

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed a bill into law on Tuesday that gives civil immunity to volunteer health care providers.

The new law also provides immunity to licensed medical professionals who volunteer their services at no cost to taxpayers or patients. It applies to physician assistants, advanced nurses, podiatrists, and optometrists and allows them to provide basic treatments like physicals, routine services, and the treatment of minor cuts.

Pence said the new law will encourage doctors to volunteer and give back to the community in that way.

“There is no greater importance than ensuring the health and safety of Hoosier families,” Pence said. “Hoosiers are known for their hospitality, and the medical health shield bill allows licensed medical professionals the necessary assurance to continue volunteering and serving in our communities.”

Rep. Dave Frizzell, R-Indianapolis, said the new law will help Hoosiers get care they need.

“Millions of people in the state are going to receive care they’ve never received before,” Frizzell said. “That’s the important thing.”

Pence signed the bill at Shepherd Community Center in Indianapolis where he met with doctors and community members.

“It will proceed simply out of the heart of people who believe that a part of the calling of their profession is to come alongside those most vulnerable and most in need,” Pence said.

The law will take effect on July 1.

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