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Gov. Perry awards $12,000 to Texas Medical Board

Funds address recent increase in physician licensure applications

From the Office of Gov. Rick Perry

March 7, 2007

Government - Gov. Perry pictureAUSTIN–Gov. Rick Perry awarded $12,000 in grants to the Texas Medical Board for continued regulation of medical practice in the state.

This funding provides for additional personnel, investigation of medical malpractice cases, addressing cases scheduled for the State Office of Administrative Hearings, and expediting licensure of Texas physicians.

"Because medical liability reforms were so successful, Texas has been deluged by the number of physicians who want to practice medicine here," Perry said. "This grant will provide the Texas Medical Board with the necessary resources to quicken the process of licensing doctors who are vital to the health and well-being of all Texans."

The Texas Medical Board regulates certain licensed healthcare professionals in Texas and educates consumers regarding their rights in seeking quality healthcare.

Last June, the Office of the Governor provided $375,000 to the Texas Medical Board for administrative and case load support. With the growing demand for Texas medical licenses, the agency determined an additional $12,000 was needed to redirect resources necessary to manage the increasing demand for licensing physicians in Texas.

The Texas Medical Board currently has more than 2,500 licensure applications on file. A significant number of the applications were filed by physicians moving from other states. Only five months into the fiscal year, there are more applications pending today than the board licensed all of last year.

Gov. Perry supported Proposition 12, a constitutional amendment authorized by Texas voters in 2003 aimed at reducing frivolous medical malpractice lawsuits.

Since then, these reforms have improved access to physician services; the ranks of medical specialists are growing; doctors are bringing critical specialties to underserved areas; hospitals and physician groups are expanding services and upgrading medical technology; and professional liability premiums and hospital liability costs have been reduced.

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