Myers plans rally in Jackson

By Bob Darden

Greenwood Commonwealth Newspaper
Greenwood, Mississippi

March 1, 2005

TCHULA - Dr. Ronald V. Myers Sr. said he is planning to hold a noontime rally Wednesday at the state Capitol in Jackson to draw attention to what he says is discrimination as practiced by the Medical Assurance Co. of Mississippi.

Myers, who operated four clinics in Tchula, Belzoni, Indianola and Greenville, has been unable to practice since Jan. 1 because he lacks medical malpractice insurance coverage.

MACM, which had initially refused to provide Myers with medical malpractice coverage for a pain clinic in Tupelo, subsequently withdrew all his coverage because of his criticism of the company.

The rally will be held on the steps on the south side of the state Capitol building, he said.

Myers said rallies were also scheduled for today at noon in Tchula and at 2 p.m. in Belzoni.

Dr. Winston Price, president of the National Medical Association, is scheduled to speak at the Jackson rally.

"Dr. Myers is a member of the National Medical Association. We represent the concerns of more than 30,000 physicians, primarily of African descent," said Price from the association's offices in Washington.

Price said the association has been concerned with eliminating disparities in healthcare, particularly in medically underserved areas of the country such as the Delta.

Myers' inability to get medical malpractice coverage, Price said, mirrors that of other physicians nationally.

"Unfortunately, we've had physicians in Alabama, Georgia and Nevada who have had problems. We believe it is related to bias," Price said.

He said the southeastern portion of the country is particularly troubled by a lack of physicians and by physicians not being able to obtain medical malpractice insurance.

Price said the association has held similar rallies in Georgia, New York and Maryland.

"Our purpose is to gather additional facts and to meet with key legislators. We want to see if we can avert a crisis," he said.

Myers, who has been featured on ABC's "Good Morning America," said he is grateful for Price's assistance in calling attention to the other side of the tort reform debate.

"It has helped me tremendously. I'm here serving the poorest county. I haven't got so much as a medical malpractice parking ticket, and yet I can't get insurance.

Myers said members of the state Legislative Black Caucus will also speak at Wednesday's rally at the Capitol.


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