Healthcare Crisis Across Florida

Florida is in the midst of a health care crisis which needs to be addressed by the next session of our state legislature.

First there was the failing grade for access to Florida’s emergency rooms. Then there was a forecast of a doctor shortage with the word that the majority of the state’s doctors are over the age of 45.

The latest report came in December when the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a ten-year high for mass layoffs in health care in the state. Mass layoffs are defined as a staff reduction of at least 50 people. Florida only trails California and Indiana in layoffs with more projected for the next few months.

What’s interesting is that layoffs are happening at a time when medical care is one of the few growth industries. With a doctor shortage in the making added to reports that 13 percent of state doctors plan to reduce or leave medicine altogether in the next five years – who will take care of our population?

What might help immediately is a reduction in the high medical malpractice insurance our state doctors pay – reported to be the highest in the country. With doctors paying from $50,000 to $200,000 a year, some doctors are opting out of carrying any medical malpractice insurance at all.

When is the last time you asked your doctor if they have medical malpractice insurance. Some may fail to notify you of that fact.

Reportedly the trend of going without medical malpractice insurance is rising with one-quarter to one-third of South Florida and one-eights statewide opting out of malpractice insurance under a state law that provides that loophole.

Next time you visit a doctor ask and have them put their answer in writing. It would be wise to think twice about visiting any doctor who does not carry Florida medical malpractice insurance and wiser still to have our state legislature revisit the insurance giants medical malpractice premiums that are creating a costly situation no one can afford. #

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