Statement from Senator Nancy Barto on release of state report investigating the Arizona Medical Board

Senator Barto

Senator Barto

“Today the Arizona Ombudsman released his office’s detailed report following complaints about the Arizona Medical Board (AMB). The 180 page report paints a disturbing picture of an Executive Director who ignored laws and created policies that jeopardized public safety. Under the guise of efficiency, the Board ignored or violated state laws and licensed potentially unqualified doctors in our state for a period of nearly a year and a half.

The report indicates a hasty licensing process took priority over the public health and welfare of Arizona citizens. The Executive Director instructed licensing staff to skip primary verification of education, hospital privileges and prior disciplinary actions, relying solely on a database system. Because of this reckless policy, patients receiving care in Arizona may not know if the person treating them should even be licensed.

When employees came forward with their concerns for public safety, they were summarily fired. I would hope that the Board would reevaluate these dismissals in light of the findings.

While the Board agreed with all 19 of the findings and has accepted the ombudsman’s corrective action, it is troubling that the Executive Director received a mere reprimand and remains in office today. The Board has fallen short of its duties and missed the opportunity to demonstrate its proper authority to do the right thing.

Today’s report makes numerous recommendations and cited areas that could be legislatively addressed. I will be reviewing the report in its entirety and considering all of the options before the next legislative session.”

The complete report can be read here:

http://www.azleg.gov/ombudsman/AMB_Report1202725.pdf

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