Representative Cary Pigman

Mark Foley /

A new bill would allow physician assistants and nurses with advanced training to write prescriptions.

LHatter / WFSU News

Jacksonville Doctor Phil Perry is the Chief Medical Officer for Saint Vincent Medical Center, and he’s been using telemedicine at the network’s new Clay County hospital. He says the intensive care staff’s ability to have experts on call at the push of a button has saved lives:

“We have seen one saved life in the care of a sepsis patient. Overall 7 patients’ lives have been saved by the performance of our telehealth facility," Perry told a House health committee.

The nation’s health care delivery system is undergoing major changes, and the lines between what different healthcare providers do is beginning to blur. That’s the backdrop for fights between doctors, nurses and pharmacists, and those fights have become an annual occurrence at Florida’s Capitol, as each group tries to increase or maintain its scope-of-practice.

To put it plainly, these are turf battles. At the center is this debate: access, versus quality. 

Babies who survive abortions, people who steal from the elderly, and whether public-assistance money can be used at casinos and strip clubs were all on the agenda of one busy House committee on Thursday. The three bills are headed to the House floor after passing the Health and Human Services Committee.

Sometimes, when a woman has an abortion, the baby is born alive. It’s what happened at the unlicensed Hialeah abortion clinic run by Belkis Gonzalez, according to court records.

A couple of House panels took up several bills Wednesday that were abortion-related. They include a ban on having an abortion based on sex or gender and another that would require the care for infants born alive after an abortion procedure. While all the bills passed out of their respective committees, it was not without controversy. 

A measure is making its way through the Florida House that would require doctors to provide medical care for a baby who is born alive during or right after an abortion procedure. But opponents worry the measure could also cut back on women’s rights.

Representative Cary Pigman, a Republican from Sebring, is the bill’s sponsor in the House. He said the measure has nothing to do with the procedure of an abortion. And he said the term “born alive” is clearly defined in the bill.