Governor Lifts Rules That Prevent Out-of-state Doctors From Working in Texas

Texas has temporarily suspended barriers that prevent out-of-state health care providers from working with disaster response teams to assist victims of Hurricane Harvey.The Texas Health & Human Services Commission says medical workers employed by any U.S. hospital, who are licensed and in good standing, do not need a Texas license to help out.The governor can suspend laws that impact the conduct of state businesses if strict compliance "would prevent, hinder, or delay necessary action in coping with a disaster."The suspension will remain in effect until the disaster declaration is either lifted or expires.Medical professionals that are already employed with a hospital in another state should send their name, specialty type, state of license, and identification number to the following email address: TMBtransition@tmb.state.tx.usPhysicians that are not currently affiliated with a U.S. hospital should visit the following link for expedited permit information:http://www.tmb.state.tx.us/page/visiting-physician-temporary-permitOther providers, like physician assistants, radiology technicians and surgical assistants who are not currently affiliated with a hospital should fill out the following temporary permit form:http://www.tmb.state.tx.us/idl/1FFC7BCF-E08B-0AB5-A6A5-C3CF46366AC5Medical centers in Harvey's path have been hard hit. Patients were evacuated. Some facilities had water and infrastructure damage. Ambulances got stuck in rising floodwaters. The Houston mayor requested medical supplies, among other needs.Many evacuees scrambled to escape their flooding homes, leaving behind medications needed for chronic conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes, which can become problematic as they wait in shelters.In the Red Cross shelter set up at the George R. Brown Convention Center in downtown Houston, hundreds of doctors, nurses, mental health and other specialists had listed their names and medical specialty on sheets of paper taped to the wall, volunteering their services.  Continue reading...

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