New President of the California Medical Board supports Medical Freedom
This announcement send by California Citizens For Health Freedom
Frank Cuny, President
Gary Gitnick, M.D. was elected president of the California Medical Board at their quarterly meeting on May 10, 2002. In accepting this role, he stated what he considers priorities for the board.
1. The first issue he talked about was the right of physicians to practice alternative medicine. Without question he believes the Board needs to see that physicians are given the right and protection to practice good medicine, alternative and conventional. Also, the Board needs to discipline physicians, alternative and conventional, who practice bad medicine.
2. Support a bill that would provide greater information to consumers on licensed physicians, i.e., malpractice suits, discipline action etc.
3. A need to make quality medicine available to all citizens of California.
4. Have the Medical Board become a more effective organization.
All the members of the current Medical Board are relatively new, for background information on members see www.medbd.ca.gov/members.htm. The meeting schedule of the Medical Board is listed at www.medbd.ca.gov/meetings.htm. The members of the board for the most part were appointed by Governor Gray Davis. It appears that he has done an excellent job in having a Board that is balanced and wanting to protect the right of citizens to choose.
The Board’s quarterly meeting in May was held in Newport Beach. SB-2100, the bill sponsored by our California Citizens For Health organization, required the Board to establish a Committee on Alternative Medicine. This Committee was to make recommendations to the legislature on changes of Board policies that would enable physicians to more freely practice alternative medicine. This Committee was also asked to formulate changes that should be made in the current state regulations.
The Board at the recommendation of the Committee adopted the following two policy changes:
1. A physician whose practice is not conventional must have a complaint filed against him prior to being investigated.
2. A physician whose practice involves CAM shall have his case sent to two expert reviewers, one in the same specialty area as the physician and one who is an expert in the CAM modality being practiced.
The other agenda items for their May meeting are on Medical Board’s web site.
From a medical freedom perspective, this was an historic meeting. For five years as a legislative advocate for the right of citizens to have access to alternative medicine, I have attended every Board meeting with no positive response. To have the new Board president adopt these changes as a goal was very rewarding.
Dr. Gitnick appointed Board member Lorie Rice, M.P.H. chair of the Committee on Alternative Medicine. In my meeting with her she indicated she wanted to chair the Committee and is supportive of alternative medicine and wants me to work closely with the Committee.
While at the meeting I had the opportunity to meet with the Chair of the legislative Committee of the California Medical Association. I presented her with a copy of our proposed bill, (see out web www.citizenshealth.org). She assured me that she would start the process of reviewing our bill to determine if they will support, oppose, be neutral, or make recommendations on changes in the bill.
This means our proposed bill has started the process of being reviewed by the two most important organizations that will take a position on it. We have been working with the staff of key legislators and consumer affairs on the need for the introduction and passage of this bill.
We are also inviting various organizations to join in supporting the need for passage of this type of bill. If you are active in an organization, go to our web and have your group added as supporters.
Our hope is that we can have a positive response from the Medical Board and CMA by the end of summer. If this happens there is a chance we may have our bill become a substitute bill for one that is in the legislative process and be acted upon this year.
Otherwise we will introduce it early next year.