PEOPLE HAVE A CHANCE TO AIR OPINIONS


CARSON CITY -- Southern Nevada residents who want to address some of the state's leading doctors about the hepatitis C crisis can do so Saturday in a meeting teleconferenced from Reno.

The two-day state Board of Medical Examiners meeting, which begins today, will be broadcast in the conference room of the Nevada State Board of Dental Examiners, 6010 S. Rainbow Blvd., Building A, Suite 1, in Las Vegas.

Public comment is the last item on the agenda of Saturday's meeting, which begins at 8:30 a.m. However, items can be taken out of the scheduled order.

Tony Clark, the board's executive secretary, expects a big crowd in Las Vegas to express concerns about the medical practices at the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada. A legislative hearing Monday on the same issue also drew a large crowd.

Officials have linked hepatitis C transmission to six patients at the clinic, and 40,000 patients have been warned they should be tested to determine whether they contracted infections. A seventh case was linked to an affiliated clinic.

During Saturday's meeting, board members also are scheduled to discuss whether information about malpractice lawsuits filed against doctors should be placed back up on the agency's Web site. It was pulled from the site by the board in 2005.

Up for discussion today is what options the board has in the wake of Gov. Jim Gibbons' call for the resignations of three board members: President Dr. Javaid Anwar, Vice President Dr. Sohail Anjum and Dr. Daniel McBride. Gibbons says the doctors have acknowledged conflicts of interest involving the Endoscopy Center, but the three have refused to resign.

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