Governor Bob Holden is taking steps to deal with rising medical malpractice insurance premiums for Missouri doctors. In a speech in Cape Girardeau, the Governor calls for a public hearing on the issue October 30th. He points out the state’s annual medical malpractice insurance report shows new claims against Missouri doctors dropped sharply in 2001, as did the percentage of premiums that insurers expect to pay to victims. Holden says the 2001 market data don’t show any conditions that would warrant the kind of premium hikes he’s seeing. A recent Missouri Society of Medical Association survey finds doctors are reporting that premiums have, in many cases, doubled, particularly for riskier specialties. Holden says he’s looking for an explanation of these rate increases.