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Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2016 Jun;10(3):518-24. doi: 10.1017/dmp.2016.33. Epub 2016 Mar 29.

Legal Considerations for Health Care Practitioners After Superstorm Sandy.

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1Department of Health Policy and Management,Graduate School of Public Health,University of Pittsburgh,Pittsburgh,Pennsylvania.
2The Bureau of Primary Care Access and Planning,New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene,Long Island City,New York.


During disaster response and recovery, legal issues often arise related to the provision of health care services to affected residents. Superstorm Sandy led to the evacuation of many hospitals and other health care facilities and compromised the ability of health care practitioners to provide necessary primary care. This article highlights the challenges and legal concerns faced by health care practitioners in the aftermath of Sandy, which included limitations in scope of practice, difficulties with credentialing, lack of portability of practitioner licenses, and concerns regarding volunteer immunity and liability. Governmental and nongovernmental entities employed various strategies to address these concerns; however, legal barriers remained that posed challenges throughout the Superstorm Sandy response and recovery period. We suggest future approaches to address these legal considerations, including policies and legislation, additional waivers of law, and planning and coordination among multiple levels of governmental and nongovernmental organizations. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2016;10:518-524).


Superstorm Sandy; liability; licensure; scope of practice; waivers of law

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