LOS ANGELES (CBS) — If you are a dangerous doctor licensed to practice in California, your chances of facing disciplinary action from the state medical board are slim to none, according to a new report released Wednesday.
The report from the nonprofit group Public Citizen alleges that over 700 doctors who were disciplined by their hospitals or HMOs have yet to face any action by the the same board that licenses them to practice medicine.
KNX 1070′s Charles Feldman reports the findings paint a devastating picture of the state of health care in California.
Public Citizen recently sent a letter to Governor Jerry Brown urging him to take action on what it says is “dangerously inadequate medical board activity”.
In the letter, the group claims that out of the 220 doctors nationwide who are considered an “immediate threat to health or safety”, 102 of these — 46 percent — are California physicians, even though the state has only about 12 percent of the physicians licensed in the U.S.
Jennifer Simoes, spokeswoman for the California medical board, concedes that the state’s budget crisis has clearly had an impact.
“Staffing shortages is something that’s affecting all state agencies,” said Simoes.
Although the Public Citizen report says the state medical board’s disciplinary performance has worsened over the past 13 years, the medical board spokeswoman argued that it has actually improved compared to 2010.