by Steve Fair
According to Texas State Representative Joe Nixon, "Doctors were caught between rising medical malpractice insurance costs and lower compensation from insurance-provided benefit contracts and low Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement levels," "Combined with increasing hassles and demands to appear in court or in depositions, doctors were choosing to retire or leave Texas. In doctor-per-citizen ratio, Texas ranked 49th out of 50 states."
According to Oehlert, lawsuit reform is hurting health care in Oklahoma. He says it is becoming more and more difficult to get physicians to go into some fields, and some are either leaving practice or avoiding certain lawsuit-prone procedures. According to Oehlert, "I've been told that there are physicians leaving the state or - probably more appropriately - not coming into the state because of the reputation that Oklahoma has in being a lawsuit-friendly state."
Oehlert said that some doctors are leaving clinical practice, have stopped delivering babies and steer clear of ER room work because of the threat of being sued. Some rural areas report difficulty in attracting or retaining physicians, particularly in some specialties.
"The big thing is that our physician numbers haven't really increased significantly," Oehlert says. "And as our population ages, that's going to be a major area, in gyn, cardiology, internal medicine, family practice, general surgery, because those type of health problems that would be applicable to those physicians, you're not going to have the physicians."
Please check the Ethics reports for legislative candidates in your district. The Trial Lawyer lobby is not going gentle into that good night. They are contributing large amounts to candidates who if elected will work to stop tort reform! To check the candidates in your area, click on link: http://www.state.ok.us/~ethics/