Alabama medical board relaxes requirements for out-of-state doctors

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Rules for allowing doctors from other states to practice in Alabama were relaxed over the weekend so they can travel to treat COVID-19 patients in the state’s hospitals.

The Alabama Board of Medical Examiners and the Medical Licensure Commission met over the weekend to adopt emergency rules that let qualified physicians from other states and Canada apply for temporary emergency licenses in the state.

The rule states that there is an emergency need for qualified physicians to provide medical services in Alabama.

“As the number of COVID-19 cases surges in Alabama, hospitals are experiencing a shortage of qualified physicians to care for the sick,” Alabama Board of Medical Examiners Chairman Dr. Mark LeQuire said in a news release. “This is an all-hands-on-deck moment, and we will continue to take all necessary action to ensure Alabamians suffering from COVID-19 have access to the care they need.”

Doctors in good standing can apply for temporary emergency licenses to practice in an Alabama hospital for 180 days or until Gov. Kay Ivey terminates the state’s public health emergency, whichever comes first. They will need to also get written verification from a hospital’s administration or chief of medicine stating he or she will provide in-patient hospital care to people suffering from COVID-19.

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