It is hereby declared by the Legislature of the State of Alabama that a crisis threatens the delivery of medical services to the people of Alabama and the health and safety of the citizens of this state are in jeopardy. In accordance with the previous declaration of Legislature contained in Act 513 of the Regular Session of the 1975 Alabama Legislature it is the declared intent of this Legislature to insure that quality medical services continue to be available at reasonable costs to the citizens of the State of Alabama. This Legislature finds and declares that the increasing threat of legal actions for alleged medical injury causes and contributes to an increase in health care costs and places a heavy burden upon those who can least afford such increases, and that the threat of such actions contributes to expensive medical procedures to be performed by physicians and other health care providers which otherwise would not be considered necessary, and that the spiraling costs and decreasing availability of essential medical services caused by the threat of such litigation constitutes a danger to the health and safety of the citizens of this state, and that this article should be given effect immediately to help control the spiraling cost of health care and to insure its continued availability. Additionally, the Legislature finds that the increasing threat of legal actions for alleged medical injury has resulted in a limitation on the number of physicians providing specialized health care in this state. Because of the limited number of insurers offering professional liability coverage and because of the prejudice to the rights of the defendant health care provider through the interjection of evidence of insurance, the Legislature finds that the interest of all citizens will best be served by prohibiting the introduction of evidence that a witness testifying at trial is insured by the same insurer as the defendant health care provider.
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