Under the Dome

Bill aims to strengthen fairness for doctors in trouble

The House on Tuesday unanimously approved a bill that is part of an effort by the N.C. Medical Board to answer concerns raised in a state audit last year about the program that helps doctors deal with substance abuse, mental health or sexual misconduct.

The audit found that fairness and confidentiality could be compromised, that there was inadequate oversight, and that forcing physicians to go to out-of-state treatment centers put an undue burden on them.

The Medical Board has made internal changes in response, and needed legislative action to accomplish other changes. House Bill 543 is meant to strengthen due process for licensees facing discipline, by ensuring information is shared.

The bill now goes to the Senate.