CARSON CITY -- Gov. Jim Gibbons said Monday he wants to reach an agreement with three members of the Nevada Board of Medical Examiners so they can resign their positions without carrying the stigma that they are in any way responsible for the hepatitis C crisis.
The board members view resigning "as an indictment of their ability when in fact it is a conflict with their business practices with the doctor" at the center of the crisis, Gibbons said in Carson City after addressing by videoconference the Legislative Committee on Health Care, which was meeting in Las Vegas.
Gibbons on March 16 announced he wanted Daniel McBride, Javaid Anwar and Sohail Anjum to resign their board positions because of their personal and business relationships with Dr. Dipak Desai, majority owner of the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada.
Officials have linked the Shadow Lane facility to six cases of hepatitis C.
Although the three doctors have agreed not to vote on any medical board matters involving Desai, they have refused Gibbons' call to resign.
McBride said he done nothing wrong and would not resign. He vowed to fight in court any attempt by Gibbons to remove him.
Gibbons said Monday he was willing to state publicly that the three doctors were in no way responsible for the health care crisis, but he still expects them to resign.
"We have been working with them to find a way to accommodate their concerns about voluntarily resigning," Gibbons said. "I am willing to state it has nothing to do with their professionalism and practices as medical professionals."
Unless they resign, Gibbons said, the medical board will be left with six members to vote on matters affecting Desai and his businesses. That means there could be a 3-3 deadlock on some votes, Gibbons said.
Still, Gibbons said previously, the resignations of the three would help "restore public confidence" in health care in Nevada.
"I believe it is the appropriate action," Gibbons said.