State Health Committee Tackles Hepatitis Outbreak - 8 News NOW

Melissa Duran, Reporter

State Health Committee Tackles Hepatitis Outbreak

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These ideas are for lawmakers to work with, no change in law can happen until the next legislative session. These ideas are for lawmakers to work with, no change in law can happen until the next legislative session.
Lawmakers say they want to get ideas on how to fix the current health system. Lawmakers say they want to get ideas on how to fix the current health system.
They say the deeper this problem gets, the more problems they find. They say the deeper this problem gets, the more problems they find.

State lawmakers are working to make sure the valley is not faced with another health crisis like the one currently effecting Las Vegas.

The state hearing took all day and in the end, lawmakers left with several ideas on how to make sure the public's health is no longer put at risk. These ideas are for lawmakers to work with, no change in law can happen until the next legislative session.

"Your problem is not that you don't have the laws, you have the laws, the problem is the board itself and how you get on it and, until you solve that problem, you are going to continue to have this problem," said Dr. James Tate.

Tate was one of a few valley residents who showed up for public comment at today's meeting.

Lawmakers say they want to get ideas on how to fix the current health system. They say the deeper this problem gets, the more problems they find.

The Southern Nevada Health District had a few recommendations. They told the committee they want to have the power to temporarily shut down a facility if they feel public health is being put at risk.

They also want to see stronger lines of communication between health agencies and medical boards.

In addition, lawmakers say the health division's Bureau of Licensure and Certification, which regulates facilities like the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada, needs a complete overhaul.

"We're looking at inspections, how boards function and the ongoing education of our professionals. So it's not an easy problem to solve, but we have to do it in order to get the public confidence back," said health committee chair Assemblywoman Sheila Leslie.

Metro also spoke before the committee saying their criminal investigation into the clinics is ongoing. By the end of the week, they also hope to have hired a company to organize the thousands of files they seized from the clinics as part of evidence.

Metro says the cost of hiring a company to come in and organize the patient files will be at least $400,000.

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