Flushing was the first city in the country to pass a law allowing residents to get an Orthopedics Institute of America certification.
The law allows residents to obtain a certification from an orthopedist who can prescribe the necessary physicals for patients who have the most serious conditions such as multiple sclerosis, multiple myeloma and Parkinson’s disease.
The City Council passed the law last month, and it’s expected to take effect on Monday.
The law has attracted attention for its broad scope, including covering nearly 200 different medical conditions, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, multiple sclerosis and Parkinsonism.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there are approximately 6,000 people with these conditions nationwide.
“This law gives a tremendous opportunity for people to get the care they need,” said Dan Gross, president of the Flushing Orthopedical Society.
A recent study found that a third of patients with these types of conditions live in communities where only one orthopedically trained professional is available.
According to Gross, there were no orthopedists in the Flushed area when the new law was passed.
In fact, there was only one licensed orthopedicist in Flushing.
“There was no one in charge of the town that had expertise in those areas,” he said.
“Now, with this law, there is one, so the residents of Flushing have the best of both worlds.”AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka called the law “the most important law in decades” and said it “will help save lives and improve quality of life for patients, their families and their communities.”
“We applaud the effort of elected officials and local elected officials who have worked tirelessly to bring about this important legislation,” he wrote in a statement.
“The law will allow the health care professionals of the Orthopedists Association of New York to focus on their patients and provide them with the best possible care.”
AFL CIO President Trumkas statement on the new Flushing legislation: pic.twitter.com/pQJX5fZsNl — AFL-Cio (@AFLCio) January 11, 2021 Dr. John Pankow, who has been treating patients with multiple sclerosis in the city for over 30 years, said that the legislation is a welcome development.
“I’m thrilled with this,” he told WCBS 880.
“This is a good sign that the law will actually help to bring down costs for the community.”
Pankow said that he believes that the new legislation will reduce the cost of care for patients with MS, and that the bill is a “good way to start the conversation.”
“The new law, combined with our new policy and the fact that there is no one licensed professional in the town, is going to mean that if we have someone in town who is an orthopaedic surgeon, it will save them a lot of money,” he explained.
More coverage of the new bill in Flushed can be found here.