Letters to the Editor

Telemedicine; no trucks; smoking ban; transgender ruling

Trucks are banned from the left lane on some local freeways.
Trucks are banned from the left lane on some local freeways. STAR-TELEGRAM

Telemedicine

The battle against our nation’s physician shortage, especially in rural and under-served communities, will be won by making it easier for physicians to treat patients across state lines and through telemedicine. (“Unless we act now, Texas doctors could become an endangered species,” Dec. 30)

One way we can do this is by allowing physicians from outside Texas to treat patients in areas where the demand for care is at its highest.

A patient’s access to care no longer has to be determined by their ZIP code. Instead of driving 60 miles to see a physician, why can’t a patient in rural West Texas be treated by a qualified physician in Chicago using telemedicine?

In the upcoming legislative session, Texas has the ability to make this a reality by joining 18 other states that have passed legislation to enact the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact.

The IMLC offers an expedited pathway to licensure for physicians who wish to practice in multiple states, while strengthening public protection by enhancing the ability of states to share investigative and disciplinary information.

We need innovation.

Jon Thomas MD,

chairman, Interstate

Medical Licensure Compact

Commission, St. Paul, Minn.

No trucks

Are Fort Worth police ever going to enforce the “no trucks left lane” along Interstate 20?

We drive from Weatherford to Mansfield about once a week and have yet to make the trip without at least one and sometimes several trucks just jumping into the left lane with no regard for traffic already in that lane or anyone who might be around.

One recent morning there were two of them. First, they would race up behind cars and hover over them, then whip into the left lane.

They must have been traveling 80 mph the way they were passing everyone and moving on. I have never seen a police car along this stretch, and it is becoming very dangerous out there!

Charlene Roberson,

Weatherford

Smoking ban

Your Dec. 30 report describes an imminent government invasion of private businesses on the pretext of “protecting the public.” (“Arlington councilwoman putting park smokers on notice”)

Arlington Councilwoman Kathryn Wilemon’s clean sweep initiative against litter is spot-on. Unfortunately, protecting nature is just the wedge issue leading to a smoking ban.

R.H.Gruy, Granbury

Transgender ruling

Sunday’s paper categorized U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor’s decision as an attempt to “stop federal health officials from enforcing rules that are intended to ban discrimination by doctors and hospitals against transgender people.” (“Judge blocks transgender rules”)

What if, instead, the report were: “In an unusual move these days, O’Connor took a stand for the constitutional and statutory right of free exercise of religion by ruling that those in the medical profession cannot be forced to violate their consciences, any more than anybody else”?

Thomas F. Harkins Jr., Fort Worth

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