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Sovereign Immunity for Doctors???

Would you want to be treated by a doctor with 3 or more medical malpractice convictions?

Florida Senate Bill 1676 is aiming to allow for just that.

Citing concerns that the physician’s practice environment in Florida is hindering the attraction of doctors to practice in Florida, the bill seeks to reverse Amendment 8 (s.26, Article X) which prohibits people who have been found to have committed three or more incidents of medical malpractice from being licensed by the State of Florida to provide health care services as a medical doctor.

“As the department concluded, these service delivery concerns may hinder the recruitment of doctors to this state based on the real or perceived influence of the severity of the medical liability climate in this state.”

SB1676 seeks to provide sovereign immunity to medical schools and their employees who provide patient services in public teaching hospitals, limiting the medical schools’ liability to $200,000 and providing personal immunity to the doctors.

“It is the intent of the Legislature that medical schools that provide or permit their employees to provide patient services in public teaching hospitals pursuant to an affiliation agreement or other contract be subject to sovereign immunity protections under s. 768.28, Florida Statutes, in the same manner and to the same extent as the state, its agencies, and political subdivisions.”

“It is the intent of the Legislature that employees of medical schools who provide patient services in a public teaching hospital and the employees of public teaching hospitals be immune from lawsuits in the same manner and to the same extent as employees and agents of the state, its agencies, and political subdivisions and that they not be held personally liable in tort or named as a party defendant in an action while performing patient services, except as provided in s.236 768.28(9)(a), Florida Statutes.”

On April 4, The Senate Health Regulation Committee approved SB1676 in a 11-1 vote. The bill must now pass through two additional Senate committees.