Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2008 | 11:52 a.m.
The Nevada State Medical Association, which represents about 1,400 doctors, is calling for whistleblower protection for foreign doctors who wish to report being exploited by their Nevada employers. The letter, sent to the Nevada State Division of Health Monday, comes in response to a Las Vegas Sun investigation that uncovered broad and systematic abuse by employers of the J-1 visa waiver system, which allows foreign doctors to work in the United States as long as they practice in medically-needy areas.
Employers have leverage over the foreign doctors because they sponsor their visas, and some have used that advantage to overwork them, cheat them financially and divert them away from underserved patients to more affluent areas, where they can bring in more money for their employer.
The Medical Association is also calling for changing the state guidelines of the program, which do not have the force of law, to regulations, which provide clearer action in the case of violations.
See the story tomorrow in the Sun. The entire Indentured Doctors series can be seen here.