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Biloxi clinic closing in part due to fear of malpractice claims

There are many collateral consequences of malpractice. One of them is the reluctance of doctors to continue to treat patients out of fear of being named as defendants in malpractice litigation.

That scenario is playing out in Mississippi at the Biloxi OB-GYN Clinic. For over a dozen years, one of the physicians in the practice has treated women's health needs and delivered their babies. His caseload used to max out at 25 patients per day.

Those days are gone. Due to the resignation of two of his partners last year and the difficulty of recruiting new OB-GYNs, the physician now sees as many as 40 women each day. He says that he "still can't keep up with the number of people who want to be seen."

The doctor added that he's been unable to "find anybody that would even talk to us about coming to Mississippi. We are infamous around the country now as a malpractice mecca, and residents . . . are not interested in coming here."

Because of the doctor shortage, he is closing his Cedar Lake Medical Park branch office. The physician stated that his overhead dramatically increased due to the high price of malpractice premiums. As one of the two doctors remaining in the practice, he can no longer justify keeping two locations up and running.

The closure means that several employees will be out of work, including a single mom. Patients also are uncertain about the availability of their doctors. More pregnant women may have to rely on the health department in order to obtain prenatal care.

When physicians or other medical personnel are negligent, the suffering isn't limited to just the patient, although it is patients who bear the brunt of the damage. If your health was endangered by a negligent physician, you may want to explore your legal options for compensation.

Source: WLOX, "Biloxi OBGYN Branch Closing Its Doors," Trang Pham-Bui, Jan. 10, 2018

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