HARRISBURG, March 17, 2010 – State Sen. Vincent Hughes today applauded the state Department of Health’s action in its issuing of an “Order to Show Cause” why Dr. Kermit Gosnell license should not be permanently revoked.

Hughes (D-Philadelphia/Montgomery) has been actively monitoring this case and examining ways of upgrading oversight of these facilities to prevent similar situations in the future.

“We need to explore all means to ensure that this never occurs again,” Hughes said. “I have been meeting with the state Departments of Health and State since this issue was uncovered and have discussed this situation with Senator Pat Vance who chairs the Senate Health and Welfare Committee.
“This is a public health issue which should not be ignored.”

Earlier this month, the State Board of Medicine temporarily suspended the doctor’s medical license and shut down his clinic in West Philadelphia, calling it a “clear danger to the public health and safety.”

According to the Board, there were unsanitary and deplorable conditions including bloody floors and fetuses in jars.

The board also said there was an unlicensed worker who routinely administered prescription painkillers to patients, including one who developed a fatal heart arrhythmia in November after receiving multiple doses.

“The findings during the raid of the clinic were sickening and deplorable,” Hughes said. “I’ve been working diligently to identify problem areas and assess whether legislative changes are necessary.”

“By working with the department and those knowledgeable about professional board regulatory matters, we will be able to access whether more oversight is needed.”

Hughes said that based on preliminary analysis of the situation, legislation to address this issue will be forthcoming.