New Bern eye doctor to appeal dismissal of challenge to medical certificate law

Dr. Jay Singleton
Dr. Jay Singleton(Institute for Justice)
Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 3:27 PM EDT
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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The state Court of Appeals has refused to strike down a state law requiring regulators first agree that new medical facilities are necessary based on population and other needs before they can be built.

A three-judge panel of the intermediate-level appeals court ruled unanimously on Tuesday in the case of a New Bern eye doctor who sued in 2020 based on how he says he was unable to expand his practice. The case stems around what’s called the certificate of need laws.

Dr. Jay Singleton, the plaintiff, has announced that he will appeal the decision.

Singleton says all he wants is a chance to compete so that he can offer his patients more affordable care. He wants to provide low-cost eye surgeries in his own vision center, but the certificate of need law does not allow him to do so without proving that his services are “needed” in his community.

“It’s unfortunate that the court was so willing to rubberstamp this harmful and anti-competitive law, but I’m excited to continue pressing my rights—if necessary, all the way to the North Carolina Supreme Court,” Singelton says.

The opinion writer still says the ruling doesn’t mean the rules can’t be challenged in the future by someone else.

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