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2/19/2016 House Commission to Hold ‘Public Comment’ Hearing on Rules and Regulations Of the R.I. Medical Board of Licensure and Discipline
STATE HOUSE – The Rhode Island House Special Legislative Commission to Review the Rules and Regulations of the Rhode Island Medical Board of Licensure and Discipline will hold a "public comments" hearing on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016 in Room 101 at 2 p.m. in the Rhode Island State House.
 
Authorized by the House of Representatives with the passage of H-5500, the Rhode Island House Special Legislative Commission to Review the Rules and Regulations of the Rhode Island Medical Board of Licensure and Discipline started holding monthly hearings on Oct. 14, 2015.  To date, the Special House Commission has held four hearings.
 
The purpose of this Commission is to review all of the rules, regulations, procedures, policies and operations of the Board that oversees the practice of medicine by any medical professional in the practice of medicine, surgery, dentistry, psychiatric medicine and counseling, and all other professionals who are under the purview of the Board.  Additionally, the commission must assess the fairness of the Board’s applications of the rules and regulations.
 
"Upon the announcement of this commission, I immediately started to receive emails and phone calls from medical professionals relating to me their experiences with the RI Medical Board," Rep. Michael Chippendale (R-District 40, Foster, Glocester, Coventry) said. "Generally, there is a natural and healthy element of tension between licensed professionals and the board overseeing them; however, while the details of each of these experiences are unique, the one overriding common thread is an almost irrational fear of interacting with the Board on any level."
 
"These are doctors, surgeons, nurse practitioners - professionals who've invested a minor fortune and decades of their lives to become a doctor or other medical professional. It is extremely concerning to me that the reputation maintained by this Board has fostered an unhealthy medical community environment. It truly diminishes the purpose and good work the Board can accomplish," he continued.
 
"I'm hopeful that medical professionals who have interacted with the Medical Board of Licensure and Discipline will come and share their experiences with us personally. The conversations that I've had over the last several months are concerning and in order for this commission to complete its important work, this type of input from the medical community is critical," said Chippendale.
 
The Commission is comprised of five legislators and four public members. Commission hearings have included presentations by the Director of the Department of Health, legal counsel for the Board and the Chief of Professional Boards and Commissions within the Department of Health as well as members of the Rhode Island Medical Society.  Although the official Rules and Regulations of the Medical Board have been in a process of being updated, the Commission has focused on how those Rules and Regulations are being applied, and what, if any, inconsistencies may exist between "applied" and "official" procedures, Chippendale said.
 
"I arranged a hotline for medical professionals to call the Commission (401-222-6123) and offer any insight they may have, or to reserve time to appear before the Commission during the public testimony hearing on the 24th of February. The Commission hopes to hear from the medical community before the final report is drafted," he said.


For more information, contact:
Louise Tetreault, House Minority Office
State House Room 106
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 222-2259