Section 34-24-400

Identification, treatment, etc., of impaired physicians; Alabama Physician Wellness Committee; funding.

It shall be the duty and obligation of the State Board of Medical Examiners to promote the early identification, intervention, treatment, and rehabilitation of physicians and osteopaths licensed to practice medicine in the State of Alabama who may be impaired by reason of illness, inebriation, excessive use of drugs, narcotics, alcohol, chemicals, or other substances or as a result of any physical or mental condition. For the purposes of this article the term "impaired" shall mean the inability of a physician or osteopath to practice medicine with reasonable skill and safety to patients by reason of illness, inebriation, excessive use of drugs, narcotics, alcohol, chemicals, or other substances or as a result of any physical or mental condition. In order to carry out this obligation the State Board of Medical Examiners is hereby empowered to contract with any nonprofit corporation or medical professional association for the purpose of creating, supporting, and maintaining a committee of physicians to be designated the Alabama Physician Wellness Committee. The committee shall consist of not less than three nor more than 15 physicians or osteopaths licensed to practice medicine in the State of Alabama and selected in a manner prescribed by the board. The Board of Medical Examiners is authorized to expend such funds as are available to it as the board shall deem necessary to adequately provide for the operational expenses of the Alabama Physician Wellness Committee, including but not limited to the actual cost of travel, office overhead and personnel expense, and compensation for the members of the committee and its staff. The funds provided by the board under this section for the purposes stated herein shall not be subject to any provision of law requiring competitive bidding.

(Acts 1988, No. 88-536, p. 819, §1; Act 2006-219, p. 376, §1.)