Florida Receives Low Marks on Disciplining Negligent Physicians

The annual Public Citizen Health Research Group report has recently been released, and ranks states on how often doctors are disciplined and face licensure action for medical malpractice incidents that injure and kill patients. As in past years, Florida is among the worst for “not living up to their obligations to protect patients from doctors who are practicing substandard medicine…”

The citizen advocacy group uses three-year averages of “serious” discipline by every state. In Florida, the discipline rate is rate is less than two per 1,000, compared to 4.5 or 6 for every 1,000 doctors for the more strict states. While most physicians are professionals who do their job to help patients, there are up to 4 Florida doctors per 1,000 who are not receiving anything more than a letter telling them to do better, rather than an official reprimand or probation from the Florida Board of Medicine. According to the report, in all, there were 5,887 physicians who were disciplined for medical malpractice (in one case a dozen times) who did not go before their state medical board for any licensure action.

Public Citizen found some doctors are inept due to training, their mental state, or drug addiction. The advocacy group found in a 2004 report that 5.4% of doctors were responsible for 56% of medical malpractice payouts.

Medical malpractice is estimated to kill about 200,000 Americans every year, according to the latest report by HealthGrades, a healthcare grading company. Health News Florida reports that the state Department of Health does not do criminal background checks on dozens of healthcare providers, such as doctors, nurses, or chiropractors before issuing a license to practice.

With all of these loopholes, if you or a loved one has suffered an injury or an illness as the result of a healthcare professional’s negligence, the Florida medical malpractice lawyers at the Farah & Farah law firm remind you that there is a limited time within which to file a claim for compensation. Talk to any of our attorneys today about your legal rights and options in a complimentary consultation.

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