The House Health Policy Committee today heard testimony on a bill that would protect health care professionals from allegations of misconduct seen only on a reality television show, announced the bill’s sponsor, state Rep. Kevin Cotter.
“House Bill 5176 is meant to protect licensed health care professionals,” said Cotter, R-Mt. Pleasant. “Currently, people from across the country can file professional misconduct complaints against a health care professional based on what that person saw on TV, without any firsthand knowledge of misconduct.”
Dr. Jan Pol is a licensed veterinarian with an office in Beal City and has a reality television show, The Incredible Dr. Pol, on Nat Geo Wild.
“This is common sense,” said Dr. Pol. “We all know that not everything we see on television is how it really happens 100 percent of the time. There simply isn’t enough time to show every single step of the process or procedure. By using television editing, my viewers are given a snapshot of what life is like for a rural veterinarian. But we are just as caring and professional as any big city vet.”
The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) receives complaints filed by individuals who believe a licensed professional may be acting outside the scope of the profession’s requirements.
Cotter said HB 5176 does not limit a person’s right to file a misconduct complaint if he or she has firsthand knowledge of misconduct, noting the purpose of the legislation is to ensure that professionals are held accountable.
HB 5176 remains before the House Committee on Health Policy.