Becker to Inslee: Provide clarity to health providers hesitant to treat

OLYMPIAIn a letter Sen. Randi Becker sent to Gov. Inslee this week, the former chair of the Senate Health-care Committee urged him to provide clarity to health-care providers on the scope of Proclamation 20-05 (issued March 19), which limits specific medical procedures but is resulting in clinic closures.

“Clinics are being closed, needlessly depriving patients of the regular health care they need, and I don’t believe that was the intent of the proclamation,” explained Becker, R-Olympia. “I’ve found there’s a lot of confusion around what is allowed right now and what isn’t, and many providers think they need to shut down. Patients are desperate for help and providers need to know that it is ok to treat them.”

Becker’s office has been contacted by constituents and organizations with concerns over Proclamation 20-05 and its implementation, including the Washington State Medical Association and the Washington State Department of Health. She, herself, has been denied a visit with a health-care provider because of the mistaken belief that the governor’s orders prohibit any treatment or care not considered an emergency.

The letter asks the governor to send a clarifying statement to all health-care providers, including primary care physicians, specialists and mental-health providers letting them know that it is appropriate to treat those in need of care and that they do not need to shut down as part of the state’s response to COVID-19.