SOURCE: Associated Press

Puerto Rico’s governor has signed a law to help reduce the number of medical malpractice lawsuits.

Ricardo Rossello announced on Monday that he will create 13 panels to review medical malpractice claims across the U.S. territory. Three people will serve on each panel, including a health expert, a public advocate and a lawyer or former judge.

All patients making complaints — except indigent ones — will be require to make a bond-like payment to the panel. If the panel finds evidence of malpractice, the money would be returned.

Similar panels are common in the United States and the governor said he hopes it will stop stem the exodus of doctors to the mainland.

Puerto Rico on average sees 1,000 medical malpractice lawsuits a year. Officials say 900 are dismissed.