The Illinois Patients’ Right to Know Act is awaiting Governor Quinn’s signature. Once enacted, the Act will allow individuals to search a licensed doctor’s history, including if the doctor has been criminally convicted, fired, or had made a medical malpractice payment in the last five years. This is good news for patients, says the consumer advocate group Public Citizen.
In March, Public Citizen published a study revealing that healthcare professionals had some serious violations without having their license revoked. In Illinois, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Montana, Texas, Florida, and Georgia, 60 to 69 percent of physicians with clinical privilege sanction reports had “no state licensure action.” Public Citizen reported that many violations involve doctors who have been practicing for years in Illinois. And, just because a doctor has a clean record in Illinois does not mean he or she has never been sanctioned. Frequently, doctors who have been sanctioned in other states move to Illinois because it does not request out-of-state records to verify a physician’s past history.
Without state medical boards or watchdog groups policing these doctors, the public is put at risk. The Illinois Patients’ Right to Know Act will let the public research a doctor prior to selecting a family physician or specialist. The Chicago Tribune has been reporting all year long that Illinois has been grappling with how to discipline doctors. Their reports have “shown how regulators can be slow to respond to doctors accused of sex crimes – even those who have been convicted – and that some dangerous doctors continue to practice without supervision.”
The most egregious case Public Citizen found in Illinois involves physician #12405. This doctor was permanently denied privileges and had 10 medical malpractice reports from 1992 to 2006, costing a total of $7 million. Despite this these reports, no licensure action was taken. The physician had “four cases of improper management in obstetrics, one case of improper surgery performance, one case of failure to diagnose in obstetrics, one case of failure to identify fetal distress, one case of failure to order an appropriate obstetric test, one patient suffered a major permanent injury, and one patient became a quadriplegic due to a brain injury.”
Healthcare professionals have a duty to care for their patients and safeguard them from further harm. When a patient’s rights and health have been compromised or neglected, they should immediately contact a Chicago medical malpractice lawyer to hold the physician accountable. Chicago medical malpractice attorney Robert I. Briskman, Esq. is skilled in helping individuals and families who have been hurt by the negligence of medical professionals. The law firm of Briskman Briskman & Greenberg has decades of experience upholding a client’s rights to fair compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other costs associated with medical malpractice.
Robert I. Briskman is a Chicago medical malpractice lawyer and Chicago medical malpractice attorney with Briskman Briskman & Greenberg. To learn more call 1.877.595.4878 or visit http://www.briskmanandbriskman.com/.