NV may pass measure protecting foreign docs here on J-1 visas

Apparently, it can be quite nightmarish to be a foreign physician who's come to the U.S. on a J-1 visa.

According to a 2007 investigation by the Las Vegas Sun, some physicians working on a J-1 have been forced by sponsors to work as many as 100 hours per week. As if that weren't enough, they sometimes aren't being paid and aren't being allowed to care for the underserved patients their visa directed them to help, the paper found. Now, the Nevada state legislature has taken an interest in the subject.

The state Assembly last week approved a bill that would authorize the state's Department of Health and Human Services to end these practices. The bill, which goes to Gov. Jim Gibbons (R) now, would make violations of the J-1 program more clearly punishable under Nevada law, and prosecutable by the attorney general's office.

The bill would also charge J-1 physician sponsors a fee to cover the measure's enforcement costs, as well as offering provisions to protect whistleblowers who report J-1 violations.

To learn more about the bill:
- read this Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report item

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