RGV doctors, governor celebrate ten years of tort reform

This fall marks ten years since Texas voters passed Proposition 12, paving the way for medical liability reform.

Governor Rick Perry made his way to Edinburg Monday to celebrate with local physicians the ten year anniversary of the state TMs 2003 tort reform that he signed into law.

A new survey released Monday shows the reform has improved health care access across the state of Texas and especially for the Rio Grande Valley.

The reforms drastically cut down on malpractice suits for physicians who handle high risk procedures.

McAllen ophthalmologist, Dr. Chevy Lee says prior to the reforms, Hidalgo County lacked specialists due to the county's high number of malpractice cases.

"We have seen a huge increase in physicians coming to Texas and to Hidalgo County once known as the judicial hell hole of Texas, Lee said.

Governor Perry says the reform will continue to have a positive impact on the Rio Grande Valley.

"The reforms that we based a decade ago will also make it more likely that doctors who graduate from the new medical school that has formed in south Texas will be able to stay close to home, Perry said.

The survey released Monday shows that thanks to the 2003 reform, 36 percent of physicians are excepting more high risk patients and doctors have cut their liability premiums by nearly 50 percent.