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Addressing the medical malpractice insurance crisis

MBJ Editorial

Mississippi’s business community should welcome Gov. Ronnie Musgrove’s announcement last week that he will call a special legislative session this summer to address the medical malpractice insurance crisis confronting physicians in communities around the state.

Our state’s health care system has been weakened terribly by the current legal climate, and out-of-control premiums for medical malpractice insurance is just another example of how severe and painfully real the situation is: doctors are quitting, retiring or getting out of Mississippi, because they just can’t afford to practice here.

We are left to wonder: Who will deliver the babies? Perform the lifesaving surgeries? Calm a worried parent?

Probably won’t be the trial lawyers.

Speaking at the Mississippi Economic Council’s annual meeting in Jackson May 21, Musgrove said, “We are looking at some innovative ideas that will offer our health care providers stable and affordable insurance.”

We hope that the governor’s “innovative ideas” are more than mere political rhetoric.

Solving the state’s medical malpractice insurance dilemma is much more than a campaign issue. It’s about life and death for 2.8 million Mississippians. And it’s an economic issue, as well. That’s why the business community must play an active part in working toward a solution and advocating tort reform in our courtrooms.

The consequences of not doing so are too dire to consider.

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