CHICAGO – July 3, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today signed a bill into law that will allow federal U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health facilities in Illinois to join local Emergency Medical Services (EMS) systems. The new law will help provide additional emergency care resources to Veterans throughout Illinois.
“VA health facilities throughout Illinois provide excellent care for our Veterans. This new law gives them the option to be a part of the emergency medical system to provide easier access to emergency care,” said Governor Quinn. “I salute our VA health facilities for their work to improve access to health care throughout Illinois.”
Senate Bill 3637 amends the state’s EMS Act to allow VA health facilities to provide emergency medical services as part of local EMS systems. Under the new law, the Illinois Department of Public Health may permit facilities operated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration to participate in an EMS system.
“This important legislation will help provide greater access to emergency care for Veterans who live near VA hospitals and clinics in Illinois,” said Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs Director Dan Grant.
In an area with a participating VA health facility, EMS providers may transport patients to the VA facility at the patient’s request. The new law requires all participating VA health facilities to comply with Illinois Department of Public Health administrative rules. Illinois has five federal VA hospitals and more than 20 VA outpatient clinics statewide.
Senate Bill 3637 was sponsored by Sen. Antonio Munoz (D-Chicago) and Rep. Michael McAuliffe (R-Chicago) and passed the Illinois General Assembly unanimously. The new law takes effect January 1.