Ga. immigration law slowing down medical licensing
by The Associated Press
November 26, 2012 01:06 AM | 1575 views | 7 7 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
ATLANTA — Officials say Georgia’s law cracking down on illegal immigration is causing administrative problems for doctors and creating more work for the state regulators who license them.

The law, passed last year to make it tougher for people to live and work in the state without proper documentation, includes a provision that requires all licensed professionals to prove their citizenship.

The Medical Association of Georgia said the law has created an administrative burden for physicians, and the small staff of Georgia’s Medical Composite Board is bogged down trying to process license renewals for Georgia’s 41,000 doctors and other medical professionals because of the requirement.

WSB-TV reported that some medical professionals have had to briefly stop seeing patients because of the delays.

Doctor’s licenses must be renewed every two years. The task previously was done on a state website; doctors received immediate confirmation of their renewals after a few clicks and a payment.

Now, applicants must submit a notarized affidavit and identification proving U.S. citizenship, and the staff of the Medical Composite Board must review the information. The state said nearly a third of doctors are experiencing a delay of 10 or more days in renewing their licenses.

No one has been found who was living in the state illegally despite all the work.

“I can tell you that we have not found one yet, and so far we’ve processed about 28,000 of these,” said Bob Jeffrey, operations director for the agency. “So far, everyone is legal.”

The Medical Association of Georgia said it has been barraged with calls from doctors who are frantic about problems. The law prohibits unlicensed doctors from practicing medicine.

“We’ve received a number of complaints from our physician members discussing they’ve had a number of licensure delays,” said Donald Palmisano Jr., executive director of the association.

Palmisano said the law has affected the way some doctors practice medicine.

“It’s added another administrative burden to physicians, so it’s taken away some time from their focus on patient care, and that’s where the real concern is,” Palmisano said.

Many groups are pushing lawmakers to make adjustments during their next session.

Comments-icon Post a Comment
November 27, 2012
I agree with the comment "it is time we start embracing diversity" because it is here whether we want to embrace it or not. Demographics in Cobb County and elsewhere are changing and "whites" will not be the majority race in not that many years. What we have to do, though, is to make absolutely as sure as we can that all people are "legals" and are paying for their fair share. This is not profiling; this is about fairness. The tax burden is falling more and more on "whites" who can't afford it in the next few decades. All must pay.
Lib in Cobb
November 27, 2012
@Watcher: The delay is being caused by under-staffing at the licensing agencies.

Since GA wants to check every person in the state to ensure citizenship, then add the proper amount of people to handle the additional work.

Is this the smaller government which was discussed by the Republicans? Deal and his legislature have no insight into the downstream problems caused by these laws.

No illegals have been caught in the licensing renewal process of doctors. I feel so much better.

This nonsense is akin to the voter ID laws where very few people in the US have been caught committing voter fraud.

The GOP failed to win the presidential election in 2008 because of a flawed candidate and his running dope. The GOP failed to win the presidential election this year because of a badly flawed candidate and his running dope. Now the GOP is attempting to walk back many of the policies which may have worked in 1980, but they don't work now. I suggest that Nathan and his gallery of idiots do the same thing. Since the loss in 2008 and the pipe dream of a win in 2012 the GOP decided to attempt to limit voters rights to increase their chances.

These voter ID laws which were being pushed by the GOP were nothing more than a poll tax or a poll literacy test. The effort of GOP to limit our right to vote was shut down in a variety of states, to that I say, "thank you". In the PA State Supreme Court, Justice Debra McCloskey-Todd asked the question, "What's the rush"? This was just ten weeks before Nov. 6th. The PA GOP lost this court case involving voter IDs for this election cycle. Thank you Justice McCloskey-Todd.

November 28, 2012
What is "running dope?" What people do when they run dope from Mexico? There should be no problem at all or question about people showing legal U.S. IDs in order to vote, and why in the world people object to that is far beyond me. They have to show legal ID to buy a bottle of beer. Why aren't you objecting to that? I don't get this objection to voter ID thing at all. Not at all. Sorry, Lib Anywhere, unless you tell me why it is discrimination to prove you are a U.S. citizen, your arguments are humor to me. Just the same as "running dope." Yes, we have quite a bit of "running dope" from Mexico if that is your question.
dr med
November 27, 2012
Have any of you ever looked in a hospital lately? Most of the doctors are from foreign countries and are working here legally. When will the profiling stop and southerners realize the state has changed. In another 10 years the minority will be the majority and there will be no bridges named for racist governors (look at the bridge over 75 and from cobb to atlanta and who it is named for). it is time we start embracing diversity and stop trying to defend the southern white male. the south lost the civil war
Doctor Me
November 28, 2012
Who is profiling? People from the South, as you say? It doesn't matter what part of the country I am from; it matters that people are here legally and that they are paying taxes just as I do. I am not defending the "southern white male" except the "southern white male" should only pay his fair share. Who is still fighting the Civil War? You????? Oh, DOCTOR, the Civil had absolutely nothing to do with illegal aliens. You've got your history mixed up.
November 26, 2012
I renew my Engineering license months in advance.

People who wait till the last couple of weeks are called SLACKERS!

Quit whining!
November 26, 2012
This requirement: "... applicants must submit a notarized affidavit and identification proving U.S. citizenship,..." does NOT appear to be overbearing!

This legislation is good for many reasons.
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, and spam will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides