* More massive fail from the Illinois General Assembly…
The Illinois government agency that looks into complaints against doctors announced it will lay off investigators starting Tuesday and warned of yearlong delays in physician licensing because the Legislature didn’t act to bail out the medical watchdog unit.
In a letter being sent to doctors Thursday, officials from Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation pin the blame on the Illinois State Medical Society for lobbying against legislation to transfer $9.6 million to keep the program going. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the letter on Wednesday.
The letter details “calamitous consequences,” including “delays between 12 and 18 months to process a medical license and severe constraints to the Department’s ability to prosecute physicians who pose a risk to the health and safety of Illinois citizens.”
The letter is signed by department Director Jay Stewart and Acting Secretary Manuel Flores. “As a direct result of (the medical society’s) actions, the layoffs will occur,” the letter says.
Medical society president Dr. William Werner said the legislation that stalled in the just-finished lame duck session required borrowing against future money collected by the fund that supports the medical watchdog unit. He said it’s time to restore money that was raided from the fund by previous legislatures.
OK, so the docs worked against it. No other solution could be found?