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Florida adopts new law that will help Latin American doctors treat U.S. patients in need

The legislation is intended to solve the growing shortage of doctors and nurses in Florida

Nueva ley para profesionales de la salud graduados en el extranjero | Shutterstock

May 22, 2024 9:44am

Updated: May 23, 2024 9:29am

The recent enactment of SB 7016 by Gov. Ron DeSantis seeks to facilitate the revalidation of degrees for Latin American doctors seeking to practice their careers in Florida.

This legislation, seen as a radical change in licensure policies, is intended to address the growing shortage of doctors and nurses in Florida.

The law will go into effect on July 1 and establishes Florida's accession to the Interstate Medical Licensing Compact (IMLC), an initiative that emerged in 2017 and involves a legal agreement that allows licensed doctors in other countries to streamline the licensing process for doctors who want to practice in participating U.S. state jurisdictions, according to their website.

The step towards will help incorporating hundreds of graduated and highly qualified medical practitioners into the U.S. labor market so they can help fill the doctor shortage needed to treat patients. 

The president of Green Cross Miami, Taimy Venereo, expressed optimism about the impact of the law, although she could not specify the exact number of beneficiaries. "The only thing I can tell you is that there are quite a few of us who are going to benefit from this new law," he said.

Dr. Julio César Alfonso, president of Solidaridad Sin Fronteras, explained that the legislation eliminates the residency requirement for those who can demonstrate that they graduated from a recognized medical school.

"This includes, for example, the medical universities of Cuba. Professionals will have to demonstrate that they have remained active in the medical service during the last four years to qualify," said Alfonso.

Solidaridad Sin Fronteras, together with Green Cross Miami, will offer advisory services to professionals interested in benefiting from this law. "We are going to address these professionals directly via Zoom so that they know step by step what they should do," said Venereo.

Dr. Alfonso stressed the importance of this law, since almost 34% of specialists in Florida are over 60 years old and there are fewer and fewer educational programs producing new doctors. "More demand and fewer doctors equals a crisis. That is why the government has to take measures like this," he said.

Fast-File Reporter

Marielbis Rojas

Marielbis Rojas is a Venezuelan journalist and communications professional with a degree in Social Communication from UCAB. She is a news reporter for ADN America.