Saturday, August 2, 2008

Medical Practice Act requires Disciplinary Board

The Illinois General Assembly and Governor Rod Blagojevich have spun a empty deal for the people of Illinois.

In Spring 2005, the Governor signed the "Medical Malpractice Reform Act" and, as an enticement for those who were opponents of caps to NED (non-economic damages), the law proposed to establish a "Medical Disciplinary Board."

Okay, a couple of 800 pound gorillas in the room:

1. What do you mean the people of Illinois are not already protected by a Medical Disciplinary Board? For pity sakes, the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and others call Chicago their home base. But Illinois doctors who make mistakes or who are unethical have no accountability?

2. The doctors in Illinois are licensed and "disciplined" by a mega agency created by Governor Blagojevich in 2004. Although created for the purpose of saving money, that agency
(Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation)
is bound by the Medical Practice Act. The Medical Practice Act should provide for a separate state medical board (referred to hereinafter [in the Act] as the Board), to regulate the practice of medicine, including the licensure and discipline of physicians in the jurisdictions. (Section III of the Medical Practice Act)

3. Neither the Illinois General Assembly nor the Governor is doing the people of Illinois any favors by promising a Medical Disciplinary Board if and only if caps are placed on medical malpractice claims. The Medical Practice Act already required the state of Illinois to protect its citizens by establishing a Medical Disciplinary Board.

4. To my knowledge, the Illinois Supreme Court has not yet set the case challenging the constitutionality of the 2005 Medical Malpractice Reform Act for hearing. Hmmm. Let me be your psychic friend and predict that a decision on this matter will not be made until after the Fall 2008 Elections. Shame that the patient safety is a political issue in Illinois. Stay tuned . . .

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