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Relating to the licensing of certain military veterans as health care providers to practice in underserved areas.
No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
HB 548 would require the Medical Board to to issue a license to practice medicine or nursing in a health professional shortage area, or a medically underserved community to a physician or nurse who is licensed in another state, is a veteran of the armed forces who retired or left military service within a year prior to applying, and who at the time of retirement was serving on active duty in this state and authorized to treat enlisted members of the military or military veterans.
Applicants would not be required to pass the Texas medical jurisprudence exam. HB 548 would prevent the board from issuing a medical license or license to prescribe, dispense, administer, supply, or sell a controlled substance to an applicant who is currently under investigation or is subject to a disciplinary order or action or to denial by another jurisdiction, or has been convicted of, on deferred adjudication or disposition for a felony or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude.
Allowing veterans who are qualified medical personnel to receive a license is a net benefit to reducing medical costs. In addition, it benefits the options of care providers and the provider shortage in Texas. HB 548 benefits the principles of individual liberty, the free market, personal responsibility, and limited government. However, the board does not need to restrict these potential physicians from only practicing in underserved areas.
Texas Action supports HB 548 but recommends that it be amended to allow these qualified personnel to practice everywhere in the State.