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updated: 5/7/2014 5:58 PM

House committee OKs plan to let psychologists prescribe

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By Zachary White

SPRINGFIELD -- A plan that would allow psychologists to prescribe medication was approved by an Illinois House committee Wednesday.

Dr. Algean Garner, a psychologist from Hoffman Estates, said that if he could write prescriptions his patients would not need to see multiple doctors in order to get their medicine.

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"There are some clients who we see frustration from, having to go from one facility to the next," Garner said.

The plan was approved by the committee by a 9-5 vote, sending it to the full House.

However, some psychiatrists say the proposal does not require enough training for prescribing drugs, a point of contention with the plan.

One psychiatrist also claimed the legislation's real goal isn't to help people, but to make money off prescriptions.

"This bill is not about access to mental health care, it's about access to market share," Dr. Tim Tumlin, a Burr Ridge psychologist, said.

Similar legislation was considered last year but stalled.

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