Primary care without a doctor? Could be a reality in Florida if House Bill 607 passes

Medical care without a doctor

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — If passed, Florida House Bill 607 would allow advance-practice registered nurses and physician assistants to see patients independent from doctors.

The Florida House Health Subcommittee voted in favor of the bill Wednesday 14-1.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Cary Pigman, R-Avon Park, said the bill would make it easier for people to get access to primary care in underserved areas.

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People like Justin Miller, who lives in Northeast Florida, say he has a point.

“I think so,” said Miller, “Those places where people can’t travel 50 miles for a doctor.”

But Miller tells Action News Jax he understands why people would be concerned about a doctorless primary care practice.

Action News Jax reporter Ryan Nelson spoke to Jacksonville surgeon Mark Dobbertien on the phone this morning. He opposes the bill, and says doctors bring an added level of experience to medical care.

“The level of training, not only for medical school, as well as residency, which is a three-year minimum, in my case it was six, certainly provides, certainly provides a metric that I think could be equated to quality,” he said.

Should the bill become law, it would go into effect July 1.