Democratic candidate for Texas governor Beto O’Rourke is pledging, if he is elected, to increase patient safety statewide by transforming the Texas Medical Board, in direct response to a series of investigations by KXAN investigations.
KXAN has a series dedicated to investigating medical practices and regulations in the state of Texas called Still Practicing, in which they’ve discovered with months of reporting and investigation that the TMB oversees how doctors are licensed and disciplined.
Dozens of out-of-state disciplinary records were kept secret, allowing doctors deemed to be “a threat to public welfare” to continue their practice with no repercussions. Some of these doctors include various sexual assault allegations and one doctor accused of allegedly selling more than a million opioid pills.
O’Rourke also responded to the fact that current Governor Greg Abbott has appointed top-dollar donors on the medical board. Some with no previous medical experience, but with important real estate, business, or energy companies.
“We may not have the oversight and the accountability for our medical providers that we should be able to count on,” O’Rourke mentioned in a statement for KXAN. “For ourselves, and for our family.”
The Democratic candidate proposed to completely transform the Texas Medical Board, starting by changing the 19 current members who have no medical background. He means to balance the board, bringing in professionals with distinct experience in different fields.