Your health is important. When we are sick or injured, it affects every area of our lives – work, family, general quality of life and our finances. No one goes to the doctor thinking that the professional, who spent years in school and who is certified by their state, will harm them.
We assume that the Department of Health is monitoring complaints and acting on them. Otherwise the physician would not be able to practice medicine or conduct surgery. We think they are competent.
A recent investigation by the Sun Sentinel revealed an entirely different picture about the practices of the Florida Department of Health. The findings are chilling.
Investigation reveals Florida is lax with discipline
The Sun Sentinel investigation examined publically available records including state data and disciplinary cases. They also conducted patient interviews. What they discovered was that the Florida Department of Health is slow to act on accusations of malpractice. Here are just a few of the findings:
In general, Florida has a backlog of over 400 cases of medical malpractice.
State continues to settle cases
In order to clear up the backlog, the state has a practice of settling cases. Physicians, some with multiple charges and a previous history of complaints, can agree to pay fines and take a few education courses instead of facing the charges. In the end, they keep their licenses and continue practicing.
Given the outcome of this investigation, it is vitally important to conduct a thorough check on the background of any physician you choose. Assuming they are competent because they advertise locally and claim to be “the best” is no guarantee they know what they are doing.