The Medical Board of California would be stripped of its power to investigate physician misconduct under a sweeping reform plan by legislators who say the agency has struggled to hold problem doctors accountable.
The medical board has come under fire for failing to discipline doctors accused of harming patients, particularly those suspected of recklessly prescribing drugs.
Under the legislation, amended Thursday, investigations of doctors would be handled by the California attorney general, leaving the board to deal mostly with licensing doctors.
"I’ve heard repeated stories of difficulty in sanctioning physicians. It’s cumbersome and takes a long period of time," said state Sen. Curren Price (D-Los Angeles), who co-authored the proposal with Assemblyman Richard Gordon (D-Menlo Park). "I don’t want anybody else to die."