A shortage of obstetricians in Illinois as a consequence of skyrocketing medical malpractice insurance rates was discussed at a recent task force hearing in Springfield.

Doctors and victims of medical malpractice shared their stories with a panel of legislators who comprise an "Obstetricians Task Force" during the last day, wrap-up of fall veto session, Jan. 11.

The bipartisan task force, co-chaired by State Rep. Ruth Munson (R-Elgin) and State Sen. James Clayborne (D-Belleville), is made up of state House and Senate legislators. State Sen. Bill Haine (D-Alton) also serves on the task force.

"Due to the risk of procedures performed by obstetricians, the cost of medical malpractice insurance for ob/gyn’s has increased drastically and is forecasted to continue to escalate,” said State Rep. Ruth Munson (R-Elgin), who chairs the task force.

Munson was instrumental in the creation of the panel.

“The Obstetricians Task Force will allow members of the General Assembly to study factors that are limiting women’s access to quality health care," she said.

“Skyrocketing premiums are forcing many obstetricians to retire or move out of Illinois at an alarming rate, as well as dissuading doctors from entering the field of obstetrics.

"As a result, there is a shortage of obstetricians in many parts of Illinois, which in turn puts the health of many women and babies at risk.”

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