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updated: 1/9/2013 5:59 PM

Layoff threat looms for medical watchdogs

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Associated Press

The Illinois government agency that investigates complaints against doctors threatened to lay off investigators starting Tuesday and warned of yearlong delays in physician licensing because the legislature failed to bail out the medical unit.

A letter going out to doctors Thursday details "calamitous consequences" and pins the blame on the Illinois State Medical Society for lobbying against proposed legislation to transfer $9.6 million to the unit.

Eighteen positions are targeted for elimination, including more than half the investigators whose work ultimately protects patients from bad doctors.

Medical society president Dr. William Werner says the legislation required borrowing against future money collected by the fund that supports the medical unit. He says it's time to restore money that was raided from the fund by previous General Assemblies.

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