Cagle Applauds Senate Passage of Health Share Volunteers in Medicine Act

February 25, 2009

Lt Governor Casey Cagle applauded the Senate’s passage of the Health Share Volunteers in Medicine Act which will expand immunity to medical professionals working at volunteer health clinics in Georgia.

“In this time of economic challenges, we need to do everything we can to support and encourage volunteer medical clinics.  It is the safety net clinics that meet the healthcare needs of so many throughout our state while providing an alternative to the costly emergency room,” said Lt Governor Casey Cagle. 

“Not only will this bill provide real savings to safety net and volunteer clinics, but it will expand the availability of these clinics and incentivize more healthcare professionals to provide medical care to low income families who need it the most,” said Senator Lee Hawkins.

Under current law, only medical professionals who volunteer their time at clinics receive sovereign immunity. This bill would expand that immunity to all medical professionals who provide services at free and volunteer clinics.  The bill also defines Safety Net Clinics as primary medical and dental outpatient care that provides non-emergency services to low income patients.

There are currently 53 volunteer clinics that are active Georgia. The Good News Clinic in HallCounty estimates that this bill will save them more than $3000 per year, allowing for more funds to be spent on needed medicine for lower income patients.