Doctor Walkout?

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Parkersburg doctors are considering conducting a walkout similar to the one Wheeling surgeons began Wednesday.

Doctor Michael Roberts is one of six surgeons in Parkersburg who take emergency room calls and one of three who take calls at St. Joseph's and Camden-Clark Memorial hospitals.

He says if medical malpractice costs don't improve, doctors in Parkersburg will walk out.

Another doctor says a Parkersburg work stoppage would not be limited to surgeons.

Doctor David Avery is a local family practitioner and former president of the West Virginia State Medical Association. He says a walkout recently has been discussed and likely will be addressed again at the January Eighth meeting of the Parkersburg Academy of Medicine.

Roberts said he never has been sued or even named in a lawsuit, yet his insurance cost rose by approximately 140 percent last year.

He says he went without a salary for three months this summer to pay his malpractice rates.

Roberts says he could have the same practice in North Carolina and pay approximately one-fourth of what he pays now, but he does not want to leave his native Parkersburg.

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