Governor Signs Bill to Protect Health Care Consumers

New law will define the term surgery in the State code

Increases patient safety and professional competence in the performance of surgery.

Central Virginia- Governor Robert F. McDonnell has signed House Bill 266 patroned by Delegate Christopher K. Peace (R-Hanover), the measure will become law on July 1, 2012.

HB 266 is a measure to define "surgery" so that no person other than a licensed doctor of medicine, osteopathy, or dentistry, a licensed nurse practitioner, or a person who is acting pursuant to the orders and under the appropriate supervision of a licensed doctor of medicine, osteopathy, or dentistry shall perform surgery.

“This definition accomplishes the needed objectives without unnecessarily restricting physicians or other properly trained professionals from practicing to the appropriate limits of their education and training, asserted Peace.  “I worked closely with my House colleagues that are also medical practitioners, Del. Roxann Robinson (R-Chesterfield) and Del. Scott Garrett (R-Lynchburg) to assure the language of this bill protects both the health care consumer and the medical provider.”

"House Bill 266 is an effective way to help ensure patients are receiving safe and properly regulated surgical care," asserted Dr. Hugh M. Bryan, President of the Medical Society of Virginia.  "This bill will ensure that any provider who is performing surgery in the commonwealth will be licensed and regulated by either the Board of Medicine or the Board of Dentistry."

As federal and state policies promote team care approaches to health care delivery, there is a need to clearly define the roles and standards for surgical and other invasive treatments.

Virginians deserve assurances that only medically trained surgeons are permitted to operate on them.  Surgery performed by under-trained or inappropriately trained health practitioners can result in irreversible consequences.

“Assuring access to quality health care for the residents on the 97th District and across the Commonwealth is vital to my role as a legislator," stated Peace. “This legislation is an effective way to help ensure patients are receiving safe and proper surgical procedures by practitioners that are adequately trained and licensed.”

Delegate Christopher K. Peace was elected to his fourth term representing the 97th District of the Virginia House of Delegates.  The District includes parts of Hanover, King William, and all of New Kent County.