19 May Bill aims to make Florida a friendlier place to practice medicine
By Dr. Madelyn E. Butler, special to the Times
As a practicing OB-GYN in Tampa and Florida Medical Association president, I was dismayed to read the recent St. Petersburg Times editorial, “Devaluing the lives of poor, elderly.” The FMA finds the editorial’s references to medical liability reform passed during the 2011 legislative session to be misleading.
The FMA, which represents more 20,000 physicians, across the state, worked hard this session to pass medical liability reform, including a provision addressing expert witness testimony — a measure we’ve been working to pass for over a decade. We’ve prioritized the passage of these reforms to increase access to care for all patients and ensure that there are enough physicians to treat them.
Unfortunately, the Times‘ editorial specifically targets HB 479, saying it forces “additional state regulation on medical expert witnesses. … The goal is to make it harder for personal injury lawyers to bring cases by intimidating and harassing the pool of medical professionals willing to testify.”