KGO AM SF, CA: Consumer Advocates Call Out CA Medical Board For Lack Of Discipline On Dangerous Doctors

Host - Michael Finney, KGO AM San Francisco, CA

October 9, 2021

Click here to listen to the audio of this radio broadcast segment:  Part 1  -  Part 2. 

Michael Finney talks with Consumer Watchdog's Carmen Balber about the California Medical Board's lack of discipline on dangerous doctors. 

Tensions Mount Over Bill To Revamp The Medical Board of California

By Victoria Colliver, POLITICO PRO

June 2, 2021

Patient advocates lambasted last-minute amendments made to a bill concerning the Medical Board of California, including the gutting of a provision to remake the panel with a public-member majority.

What happened: An earlier version of CA SB806 (21R), by Sen. Richard Roth (D-Riverside), increased the size of the board from 15 to 17 members, allowing for eight physicians and nine public representatives. But amendments made late last week eliminated that proposal from the bill.

California Lawmakers Answer Injured Patients’ Call for Reform, Propose Nation’s First Public Member Majority Medical Board

Sacramento, CA – California lawmakers have moved legislation to the Senate Floor to make California the first state in the nation whose Medical Board has a majority of public, not doctor, members. The bill follows months of calls for increased public representation from families harmed by medical negligence who have been denied answers and accountability by both the Medical Board and the state’s 46-year-old cap on compensation for injured patients. 
 

National Report Ranks California Medical Board 33rd Worst in Discipline, As Lawmakers Offer Tough Critique of Board’s Oversight of Dangerous Doctors

Los Angeles, CA – California is worse than two-thirds of states in the country when it comes to disciplining doctors whose negligence or incompetence causes patients serious harm, according to a new report by the nonprofit consumer advocacy organization Public Citizen.  The report comes as California’s legislature shines a harsh light on endemic failures in the Medical Board of California’s system of disciplining doctors as part of its sunset review oversight hearings.

Families Harmed By Medical Negligence To Testify Doctor-Run Medical Board Is Not Protecting the Public from Harm, Call for Public Member-Majority Board

Sacramento, CA – Consumer Watchdog and a dozen Fairness for Injured Patients campaign advocates who were harmed by medical negligence and failed by the Medical Board of California will call on the legislature to turn control of the doctor-run Board over to the public, in testimony on Friday.  

They will support recommendations before the Legislature’s sunset review committee to add two public members to the board, which has 8 doctor members and just 7 public seats, 2 of which are currently vacant.

Racial Justice Groups Endorse Fairness Act to Reform Medical Negligence Law, Call on Governor Newsom and Legislature to Act

Manteca, CA -- A coalition of Central Valley racial justice groups announced their endorsement of the Fairness for Injured Patients Act, the 2022 ballot initiative to update California’s discriminatory cap on compensation for patients harmed by medical negligence. 
 

History of Positions Undermining Patient Safety Disqualify Former Leaders of Doctors’ Lobby For Seats on CA Medical Board, Patients Harmed by Medical Negligence to Testify

Sacramento, CA – Two former leaders of the California Medical Association should be rejected as nominees to the Medical Board of California for their records opposing common sense patient safety reforms, Consumer Watchdog will testify at their confirmation hearing today.

The Senate Rules Committee hearing begins at 1:30PM and can be viewed on Senate TV at: https://www.senate.ca.gov/

“I Can’t Breathe” Said Black Manteca Man Killed by Medical Negligence at Kaiser Hospital

Manteca, CA – The family of Shawn Washington, a 29-year-old Black man killed by medical negligence at Kaiser Manteca Medical Center, called on the Medical Board of California and the California Department of Public Health to hold his medical providers, and the hospital where he died, accountable. His family has joined patients across the state to support the Fairness for Injured Patients Act, a 2022 ballot measure to ensure equal justice for families harmed by medical negligence.

Survivors of Medical Negligence Qualify Ballot Initiative for 2022 Election

Los Angeles, CA — Having collected 900,000 signatures and raised over $4 million, the survivors of medical negligence behind a California ballot measure to adjust California’s 45-year-old cap on quality of life and survivor damages announced today that the Secretary of State has certified the initiative for the November 2022 ballot.
 

A Call To Action To Hold Medical Board Accountable For Death Of 23-Year-Old Demi Dominguez

By Elizabeth Christian, BAKERSFIELD NOW

June 20, 2020

https://bakersfieldnow.com/news/local/a-call-to-action-to-hold-medical-…

Bakersfield, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX)- A tragic case that happened a year ago claimed the life of 23-year-old Demi Dominguez. Dominguez gave birth to a baby boy and later bled to death. The baby was declared brain dead and he didn't survive either.

Medical Board of California Allows Doctor Responsible for the Death and Injury of Eight Bakersfield Patients to Keep Medical License

Bakersfield, CA – The Medical Board of California’s decision to allow Dr. Arthur Park to continue practicing, despite a 20-year track record of negligence causing catastrophic injuries and death in the Bakersfield community, will unconscionably place even more patients at risk, said Consumer Watchdog today. The Medical Board signed a settlement deal with Dr. Park last week which has granted him five years of probation and the ability to continue to practice with restrictions.

California Battle On Malpractice Caps Delayed To 2022 Ballot

By Staff Writers, ASSOCIATED PRESS

April 30, 2020

https://www.thehour.com/news/article/California-battle-on-malpractice-c…

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Fallout from the coronavirus pandemic has delayed by two years what likely would have been one of the most expensive California ballot battles leading up to this November's election, initiative supporters said Thursday.

Consumer Watchdog Demands that Medical Board of California Immediately Suspend Bakersfield Doctor’s Medical License: Bakersfield Patients at Risk

Bakersfield, CA – Consumer Watchdog called on the Medical Board of California to fulfill its mission to protect health care consumers and immediately suspend the license of Bakersfield physician Dr. Jason Helliwell.

Family of Bakersfield Mother of Four Holds Car Wash to Raise Funds for Her Funeral; Discovers Her Doctor Has a History of Arrests and Negligence

Bakersfield, CA – The family of 28-year-old Sabrina De La Rosa should be celebrating the birth of her baby boy Jaxx with Sabrina surrounded by her loving friends and family.  Instead, they are holding fundraisers to raise money to hold memorial services for the young mother of four.  Nine months pregnant De La Rosa was taken to Memorial Hospital – Bakersfield with labor pains.   Her family anxiously awaited the arrival of her child.  Instead, her family was left in shock when Baby Jaxx was brought into the world without his mother Sabrina to care for him.

Patient Safety Advocates Say Overdose Death Investigations Critical To Protecting Patients and Reducing Dangerous Opioid Overprescribing

Milpitas, CA – Patient safety advocates testified to the Medical Board of California today that its initiative to investigate excessive prescribing by doctors involved in prescription overdose deaths is critical to state efforts to end the opioid overdose epidemic.

First-in-Nation Bill To End Secrecy Around Doctor Sexual Assault and Other Patient Harm Passes CA Legislature

Sacramento, CA – California would be the first state in the nation to mandate doctors tell their patients when they are disciplined for sexual assault or other patient harm under legislation that passed the Assembly and Senate today and goes to Governor Brown's desk.

​​​​​​​New Medical Board App Falls Short Of the In-Person Disclosure of Physician Misconduct That Patients Deserve, Says Consumer Watchdog

Los Angeles, CA – A new app released by the Medical Board of California today cannot replace a simple in-person disclosure as the best way to notify patients if their doctor has been disciplined for causing patient harm, said Consumer Watchdog.

Consumer Watchdog Calls On Attorney General To Investigate Fresno Hospital Accused Of Covering Up Doctor’s Negligence

Los Angeles, CA – The state must launch an immediate investigation into a Fresno hospital and its executives accused by whistleblowers of covering up years of negligence and substance abuse by a cardiac surgeon who was a significant source of revenue for the hospital, Consumer Watchdog wrote in a letter sent to the Attorney General and President of the state Medical Board yesterday. 

Bill To End Silence About Doctor Sexual Assault and Other Patient Harm Advances

Sacramento, CA – Legislation to lift the veil of secrecy around physician sexual assault and other patient harm today passed its final policy committee, the Assembly Business & Professions Committee, with a 15 – 1 vote. Survivors of physician sexual assault, including Olympic and Michigan State University athletes abused by team doctor Larry Nassar, and public interest advocates including Consumer Watchdog, testified in support of SB 1448, to require physicians to inform their patients when they are on probation for causing egregious patient harm.

Ca. Senate Bucks Medical Lobby & Passes Bill to Lift Veil of Secrecy About Physician Sexual Assault & Other Doctor Misconduct Causing Patient Harm

Sacramento, CA – The California State Senate rejected secrecy about physician sexual assault and other doctor misconduct today when it voted 28-3 to support SB 1448 by Senator Jerry Hill (San Mateo) to require physicians disclose to their patients when they are on probation for causing patient harm.

CURES Database Will Be Vital in Preventing Opioid Deaths but Faces Powerful Special Interest Opposition

Every doctor in California will soon be required to use the most powerful tool we have to identify and prevent opioid abuse: the state prescription drug database known as CURES. Beginning in October, doctors will have to check the database and review a patient’s prescription history before prescribing opioids and other dangerous drugs.

​​​​​​​Lawmakers Vote to Lift Veil of Secrecy About Physician Sexual Assault & Other Doctor Misconduct Causing Patient Harm

Sacramento, CA -- Doctors on probation for sexually assaulting their patients and for other serious misconduct causing patient harm would be required to disclose this to their patients under SB 1448 (Hill), which passed out of the Senate Business and Professions Committee on Monday with bipartisan support.

Patients With Medical Horror Stories Demand the California Medical Board Back Patient Bill of Rights Requiring Transparency, Accountability To Prevent Patient Harm

Los Angeles, CA – Patients who were sexually assaulted by doctors and lost loved ones to doctors’ negligence shared their medical horror stories today and pressed the California Medical Board to adopt a new Patient Bill of Rights and ensure future patients are protected.

The stories told at today’s meeting of the Medical Board illustrate the devastating harm caused to patients by a regulatory system in which doctors’ records of patient harm are hidden and patient complaints go unheeded. The patients and families testifying included:

Sexual Assault Allegations Against Salinas Doctor Go Unaddressed By Hospital and Regulators

Los Angeles, CA – The nonprofit patient advocacy group Consumer Watchdog called on state regulators to immediately suspend the license of a Salinas doctor being prosecuted by the Monterey County District Attorney’s office for sexually assaulting a patient. A separate lawsuit alleges that two eyewitnesses saw Dr. Robert Wlodarczyk assault the patient as she was coming out of anesthesia following a cardiac procedure.

Grieving Parents and Ralph Nader Call Out Gov. Brown

SAN JOSE, CA -- With the state of the state speech tomorrow, the parents of a child killed by a doctor who got off with only a public reprimand and consumer advocate Ralph Nader separately wrote Governor Jerry Brown to ask him to deal with California’s patient safety crisis. 

They both reminded Brown of words he personally spoke to them, in one case condemning the state law on malpractice Brown himself signed 43 years ago and, in the other, offering to stay involved in the family's struggle.

California Supreme Court Affirms Medical Board’s Use Of State Prescription Drug Database to Discipline Dangerous Doctors and Prevent Opioid Abuse

Santa Monica, CA – The California Supreme Court today issued a decision affirming the right of the Medical Board of California to use the state prescription drug database to protect patients from incompetent and negligent doctors, and to prevent dangerous and illegal prescribing of opioids and other powerful medications.