Dallas-Fort Worth healthcare leaders applauded the Texas Senate’s passage of “sunset” legislation reauthorizing several key state agencies, including the Texas Medical Board. The vote early Thursday morning during the Legislature’s special session sent the legislation on to the House.
Dr. Don Read, medical director of surgical services at Medical City Dallas and owner of his own private practice, says passage of the sunset bill reinstating the Texas Medical Board by both houses will be “absolutely” critical. “This law gives us the ability to practice medicine,” Read told D CEO Healthcare. “If this wasn’t passed, in theory, no one could legally practice medicine; thus, anyone could technically treat patients. … That’s not safe, nor what you want for physicians.”
The reauthorization not only protects qualified medical practitioners, Read said, but it incentivizes those with licenses to maintain high standards. “The Texas Medical Board keeps us regulated,” he said. “You want to keep tight regulations on physicians to ensure their practices are correct, up-to-date. The state board also takes the right away for people who shouldn’t be taking care of people.”
Dr. John Carlo, president of the Dallas County Medical Society and CEO of Prism Health North Texas, agreed with Read that passage of the bill is essential. “Without question, we need a state medical board,” Carlo told D CEO Healthcare. “I cannot think of a more dangerous situation than having unlicensed individuals acting as physicians,” he went on. “In our not-too-distant past, snake oil salesman peddled goods that had no benefit at best and often caused harm. State medical boards were created to protect people from these products and services. Today, the highest quality of care is ensured by having state medical boards.”