A bill to tighten restrictions on cosmetic surgery centers is on its way to its final House committee after it was approved by the Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee Tuesday morning.
It requires clinics to register with the Department of Health (DOH). The legislation then allows for DOH to bar doctors from opening a new clinic for up to five years if their previous clinic is shut down for violations.
A USA Today and Naples Daily News investigation detailed eight women who died after undergoing cosmetic procedures at South Florida facilities overseen by the same doctor over a six-year span.
That doctor, Ismael Labrador, reportedly changed the names of the centers three different times after patients died.
Those name changes can confuse patients attempting to research a clinic’s safety. Rodriguez says his bill will help stop dangerous doctors from continuing to harm their community.
“Those who will be motivated by money rather than safety won’t ever be completely stopped,” Rodriguez added. “But we can at least give DOH the tools they need to shut down these butcher shops, because that’s what they are.”
The legislation has cleared the Health Quality Subcommittee and is moving next to the Health and Human Services Committee.
A companion bill (SB 732) filed by Sen. Anitere Flores is scheduled to be heard Tuesday afternoon by the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services.