Florida Governor Considering Bill That Would Impact the Department of Health

Victims whose health declined as a result of poor care or medical malpractice in Panama City should have their basic legal rights protected. Our Panama City medical malpractice lawyer follows the progress of legislation in the healthcare arena that may impact how legal disputes are resolved as they relate to medical malpractice.

Florida's governor, Rick Scott, is currently considering an important bill that could affect the availability and practice of quality healthcare in Northern Florida. WJHG is reporting that a group of health professionals have joined a number of former health department officials in urging Governor Scott to veto legislation currently before him that would reorganize the Florida Department. The 161-page bill would impact care in Florida in a number of ways.

A group of former health officers is particularly concerned by a provision in the bill that would close the only dedicated TB hospital in Florida. AG Holley is a facility located in South Florida. Supporters of the closure note that the hospital is a 500-bed facility, but that it only averages 30 patients at a time. They also note that AG Holley is expensive to run. Critics of the closure say the move will put the rest of the state at risk. The hospital focuses solely on hard-to-treat patients with drug resistant tuberculosis who have been non-compliant with medication regimes and have been ordered into treatment until they are cured.

Those urging Governor Scott to veto the pending legislation also note that the bill would no longer require by law that the Department of Health promote healthy lifestyles. Officials from the Florida Public Interest Research Group believe the change would undermine the Department's role in promoting public health. Supporters of the legislation suggest such promotion of healthy lifestyles would still be permitted under different statutes.

The bill would also change certain billing procedures. Some patients visit the health department because they are afraid to see their own physician to discuss concerns about or treatment of a sexually transmitted disease. Currently, the health department will see these patients, treat them, and bill the patient's health insurance. The new bill passes the bill for these services to the taxpayer.

An additional component of the bill ends a controversial inspection procedure for septic tanks and shifts this responsibility to county-level government.

The bill is sponsored by Representative Matt Hudson of Naples. He disagrees with the critics and believes the legislation would allow the Department to focus on its core mission and lead to better health outcomes. Governor Scott must decide whether he will veto or approve the bill by April 28th.

Medical care is often the subject of fierce debate at the national, state, and local levels. Regardless of policy preferences, it is important for residents to be able to trust that their physician and the health care system as a whole will act in the best interests of the patient's health. If you believe that a medical provider's actions or failure to act resulted in harm to your health or the health of a loved one, please reach out to an experienced Panama City medical malpractice lawyer. With experience in the medical malpractice field, The Pittman Firm can help you get the compensation that you deserve.

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