Politics & Government

House panel approves bill requiring child abuse awareness training for doctors

A bill that would require more training to help Kentucky doctors recognize and prevent abusive head trauma in children won approval Thursday from a legislative committee.

House Bill 157 would require the State Board of Medical Licensure to include training on recognizing head trauma caused by child abuse in its continuing education requirements for pediatricians, radiologists, family practitioners, and emergency medicine and urgent-care physicians.

Melissa Currie, a child-abuse pediatrician and member of the Child Fatality and Near Fatality External Review Panel that Gov. Steve Beshear created in 2012, told lawmakers earlier this year that the new legislation was crucial to helping doctors recognize child abuse.

"Our medical professionals, specifically our physicians, ... are missing child abuse," Currie said. "They simply don't have the information they need."

The House Health and Welfare Committee approved the bill unanimously, sending it to the full House.