Upstate New York’s pediatric neurologist, Dr. John Mankiw, said the new bill would ensure that patients with brain injuries are treated by neurologists who are skilled and experienced.
He called the bill a step in the right direction.
“We’re trying to improve care, which is good for the patient, and this is something that’s not going to hurt the patients or the society in general,” Mankiew said.
Dr. Mankiewicz says the bill would require that a neurologist receive a minimum of five years of experience before working as an assistant professor at a university, or a physician assistant, at a hospital or a medical school.
The bill also would require the medical school to offer two years of specialized training in neurology to its faculty.
The bill also requires a hospital to pay the cost of an associate professor in neurologic medicine, and requires the hospital to reimburse the cost to the state for its costs for an associate faculty member who has been diagnosed with a brain injury.
It would also require a state-funded research institute to conduct an annual survey of neurologists in the state to assess the quality of their work and the level of care they provide, and to report on the state’s response to neurologists’ complaints and recommendations.
“There are still a lot of things that we haven’t fully addressed yet, and I think this is an important step in that direction,” said Dr. Margo Miller, chair of the New York Neurological Society’s board of directors.
“But we’re going to need more information about what happens in the field.”
Dr. Miller says the new legislation will allow more people with brain injury to have access to quality care.
“When it comes to neurology care, we have to be patient-centered, and we need to have a great deal of attention to the safety of patients, and the community,” she said.
The American Academy of Neurology, a group of neurologist doctors, also supports the legislation.
Dr, David Wurster, a neurology professor at the University of Colorado in Denver, said neurologists have a critical role in preventing brain trauma, and he thinks the bill will help prevent it.
“The bills that are being introduced now to help reduce the risk of brain injury, I think, would help,” Wurter said.
“The brain is very important, and there are some neurologists that can make a difference in the patient’s outcome.
It’s not just the brain.
The brain is a part of the brain, and you can’t take it away.”
The bill has been referred to the State Assembly and will likely pass the Senate.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.