By Leo Shane III
Enquirer Columbus Bureau
COLUMBUS - More than half of Ohio's doctors expect to stop practicing by 2008 if malpractice insurance rates continue to rise, according to a survey released Thursday by the state's largest physicians' organization.
In a poll of about 1,000 members of the Ohio State Medical Association, 34 percent said they expect to close down their operations in the next two years and 58 percent expect to stop practicing medicine in the next three years.
Tim Maglione, legislative council for the group, called those statistics a wake-up call for lawmakers.
"We've known a lot of doctors are struggling, but when you see more than a third are looking at leaving in the next two years it shows how serious the insurance problem is," he said.
"We hope this prompts the legislature to act more quickly to do something."
The poll comes out just days before two hearings in Columbus where lawmakers will be discussing malpractice reform issues.
On Monday, a medical malpractice commission will hear from several insurance executives who are expected to discuss why rates remain high despite a recently passed bill that limits damages in malpractice cases.
On Tuesday, a House committee hearing begins on a doctor-backed proposal to create review panels that would judge the merits of malpractice allegations before they go further into the court system.
Enquirer reporter Tim Bonfield contributed to this story.
College students move Kerry's way
Our air deemed too dirty
NAACP favors council districts
County tries an end run
Club-seat buyers sue
Glen Este prays for soldier
IN THE TRISTATE
Anderson adds places to have fun
Child flees enticement, fifth of year in township
UC Conservatory of Music to present 'German Requiem'
Perennial protester sues city for $1M
More lead found in Deerfield Township
Dented silo will soon be razed
Costs may force exodus, doctors warn
Man, woman die of gunshots in parking lot
Band room donated to Liberty Junior School
Planner testifies Norwood area in decline
Warren County delays vote on housing project
Local unit stuck at war
Medical campus starts small
Proposed Wyoming levy draws protests
Downs: Silence promotes gay awareness
Good Things Happening
Marietta Ginocchio, 64, heeded JFK's call
Virginia S. Trott, 87, active in Jr. League
SUV runs over 19-month-old boy
Teens charged in truck wrecks
Still no budget; now what?
Builder appeals zoning decision
Farmers market to open soon
Clooney smashes record for cash
Murphy has Social Security fix
Peace site to restore anti-Semitism display
Kentucky News Briefs