FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
SOVEREIGN IMMUNITY FOR
VOLUNTEER HEALTH-CARE PROVIDERS
Shepherd’s Hope, Inc. operates within the program guidelines of the Volunteer Health Care Provider Program as mandated by the Department of Health in the State of Florida. This offers our volunteer health care providers the ability to deliver health care to patients without being held personally liable, assuming they provide care within their scope of practice. Listed below is the Florida Statute.
Florida Statute Section 766.1115, “Access to Health Care Act” intent is to provide governmental protection to health care providers who offer volunteer uncompensated medical services to the underserved in populations in the State.
The Department of Health has entered into a governmental contract with Shepherd’s Hope, Inc. and this law makes the corporation and each individual health care provider “agents of the state” for the purposes of medical services provided. As such, the provider shall not be held personally liable or named as a defendant in any lawsuit for any injury or damage suffered as the result of any act or omission while performing medical services within the scope of duties pursuant to the contract, unless the agent acted in bad faith or with malicious purpose or in a manner exhibiting wanton and willful disregard of human rights, safety or property.
If a patient of a volunteer health care provider files a lawsuit under the contract, the patient may only file the lawsuit against the State, not the individual provider. In any such suit, the Department of Insurance will hire and pay for the lawyer to defend the lawsuit. If the court should decide that the patient suffered damages as a result of an act of the provider while performing services under the contract, that patient may be awarded damages up to $100,000 which would be paid by the State.