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Ehrlich hopes to meet with leaders on malpractic issue

October 09, 2004|by JULIE E. GREENE

Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich said Friday that he has asked House Speaker Michael Busch and Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. to meet with him Monday night to discuss the health-care crisis created by rising malpractice insurance rates.

Ehrlich was asked about the malpractice issue after speaking at a ceremony on Friday at the Mack Trucks Inc. plant north of Hagerstown.

Ehrlich said Busch and Miller want to meet with him to discuss the issue, but they had not been able to work out a date.

Last Monday, four Washington County doctors met with Ehrlich in Annapolis to discuss the situation. Ehrlich said he asked them to delay a slowdown planned for Nov. 15, in which several physicians in the county would stop doing nonemergency procedures.

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Even though two of the four doctors said Tuesday they would re-evaluate around Nov. 15 whether to do the slowdown, Ehrlich said that was consistent with what he asked.

He said he asked them for a short-term delay and he got one.

Those six weeks will give him a chance to meet with the General Assembly and make further progress.

Several physicians are preparing to make decisions about their career options because of increasing malpractice insurance rates, Ehrlich said.

Local doctors have said physicians are considering whether to retire or move their practices to another state.

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