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Monday, March 14, 2011

SMOKING BAN MOVES FORWARD; TMA TESTIFIES ON EMPLOYMENT, IMG PRIVACY BILLS

Our state lawmakers remain mired in the budget fiasco and are preparing to wade into the redistricting battle. TMA leaders and our lobby and legal teams are spending long days at the capitol fighting for you and your patients. Here are some highlights:

  • The House Public Health Committee and Senate Health and Human Services Committee both approved the statewide ban on smoking in all public and workplaces. TMA supports Senate Bill 355 by Sen. Rodney Ellis (D-Houston) and House Bill 670 by Rep. Myra Crownover (R-Denton).
  • Doug Curran, MD, a family medicine physician from Athens and member of TMA’s Board of Trustees, and Sara Austin, MD, an Austin neurologist and member of TMA’s Council on Legislation, testified on bills that would allow some institutions to hire physicians. They stressed the importance of protecting physicians’ independence in making clinical decisions for patients.
  • Rodney Young, MD, a family physician in Amarillo and member of TMA’s Council on Medical Education, testified for a bill that would allow international medical graduates to apply for a medical license after two years of graduate medical education instead of three.
  • Austin ophthalmologist Dawn Buckingham, MD, a member of TMA’s Council on Legislation, testified for a bill that would protect a patient’s health information and personal information.
This week looks to be even tougher. We can use your help, as a TMA leader, in testifying before House and Senate committees. If you can devote just one day here in the next month or two — preferably a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday — please let us know.

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