Illinois gives free volunteer licenses to 500 retired doctors and nurses

Fees for volunteer healthcare licenses are waived for the first 500 applicants.

Fees for volunteer healthcare licenses are waived for the first 500 applicants.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed a new law recently to bring some doctors and nurses out of retirement to help serve the increased need for healthcare professional to see and treat Illinois residents in the states many free medical clinics.[i] Watch Video

There are not enough doctors working in free clinics, likely prompting the new legislation.

The number of Illinois residents attending free clinics has been on the rise for some time due to the great recession and increasing cost of health care despite the recovering economy.

The doctors and nurses included in this new law do not have to pay for their license to practice their craft as volunteers. Fees for volunteer healthcare licenses are waived for the first 500 applicants. Professionals who already hold a regular license may not participate in the volunteer license program.

Dentists are also included in the legislation that allows them to administer influenza vaccines, but only in particular circumstances.

Here are a few public responses to the law and fee waiver:[ii]

Ralph said…”The retired doctors have all escaped to Florida.” said…”Right on Governor? Are you going to pay the malpractice insurance too?”

Here’s what Governor Quinn says:

“Retired or inactive doctors healthcare professionals can and want to help those in need, and we should let them,” Governor Quinn said. “It’s just common sense to broaden access to health care, which is a fundamental right as a human being.[iii]

Governor Quinn proposed a five-year plan proposing to reform the State of Illinois’ healthcare system to best serve 13 million Illinois residents. As new developments and laws are signed we will share the news and information we all need to be best informed practitioners and patients.

Michael V. Favia follows and reports on healthcare news and information. The law firm’s blog covers several health law and litigation topics and reader comments and questions are always welcome.

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[i] MyFoxChicago, New Illinois law taps retired doctors, nurses. AP, Jun. 26, 2014.

[ii] Illinois Review, Governor Recruits Volunteers to Fill Doctor Shortage in Illinois. AP, June 23, 2014.

[iii] Illinois Government News Network, Governor Quinn Signs Legislation to Expand Medical Services to Those in Need, June 21, 2014.


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