To the editor:

Mr. Hopkins wrote, "Illinois state legislature met in final sesson last month. Showing the courage and moral integrity of the French Army, they buckled in to political pressure and passed a medical malpractice bill."

I find it very odd that a person with that much education has shown so much bitter ignorant sarcasm. As a French American, I do take offense to an educated man using a scene from a movie to stereotype a nation.

I am happy that legislation is being made to support keeping doctors in Illinois. Working as a nurse in the healthcare system, I have met many superior physicians that are moving, retiring early, or changing professions due to the changing climate of healthcare in Illinois over the past ten years.

The physicians leaving has left this state with even greater access to healthcare problems, and the remaining physicians are left practicing defensive medicine. This seriously changes the tone of caring in delivery of healthcare services.

The crisis is real.

There are no neurosurgeons south of Springfield. That means if you or a loved one has a head injury (car accident most of the time) arrangements must be made for airlift out of the state, thus delaying care and risking death.

Hospitals in this region are closing their obstetric units.

There is already a problem with accessing physicians, we can not afford to continue to lose any more physicians. Few consumers are aware of how much doctors are actually having to pay and sacrifice to live and practice in this state. A neurosurgeon that chooses to practice in Illinois may pay as much as $250,000 a year in insurance. That is 400 times the amount paid in Iowa.

As for the scapegoats, is the public going to continue to point the finger at the so called corrupt greedy physicians? People need to understand that your standard doctors are not that wealthy in this healthcare system, they do sacrifice daily, work 80+ hours a week and do intend to take responsibility for their mistakes.

Continually awarding huge sums in Illinois, will not reverse what has been done but will affect the access of healthcare to all people of Illinois.

Mary Andreani RN, BSN
Glen Carbon

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