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Florida Doesn’t Conduct Background Checks on Some Healthcare Professionals

By Orlando Personal Injury Attorney on April 23, 2011

A dentist has opened a new practice in Polk City despite his recent release after serving three years in a federal penitentiary for tax fraud. An investigation by Health News Florida found that the man has a valid Florida dental license after failing to pay more than two million dollars in tax fraud penalties. Orlando personal injury attorney James O. Cunningham warns Floridians that our state still does not provide adequate protection against unethical healthcare providers who move to Florida to continue practicing medicine. Even though the dentist in question was convicted for tax fraud, not dental malpractice, it is indicative of the lax background checks state agencies conduct before granting licenses.

Indeed, Health News Florida found that healthcare professionals with criminal convictions are often allowed to continue practicing medicine in our state due to poor oversight and inadequate protective measures. One lawyer in California who was familiar with the case involving the dentist was surprised that Florida officials are allowing the dentist to open a new practice.

“I know in California if you’re convicted, they lift your license,” he said.

However, in Florida, the Department of Health as well as the medical boards entrusted to safeguard citizens from dishonest and incompetent medical professionals are less diligent about following up on licensing. The Health News Florida investigation found that if state officials use an emergency suspension order, that order is listed on the Department of Health website where citizens can look up information on negligent healthcare professionals. However, the site seldom lists medical professionals who have been arrested. In many cases, those with criminal convictions and who are serving time in prison are still listed as “clear/active” on the site.

Orlando personal injury lawyer James O. Cunningham has encouraged lawmakers to take action to protect citizens from negligent medical practitioners, but, as you can see, there is plenty of room for improvement. If you have suffered an injury due to medical malpractice, you do have rights and legal options to seek damages against the negligent party. Mr. Cunningham has a long and verifiable record of success in medical malpractice cases and aggressively protects the rights and interests of his clients. Call 888-425-2004 or 407-425-2000 today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.

James O. Cunningham

James O. CunninghamSince 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.

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