Columbia County residents – speak now, or forever hold your peace.
The Columbia County commissioners have been granted the power to decide which hospital will seek a certificate of need from the state to build Columbia County’s first hospital. The commissioners reported that an adjustment to University Hospital‘s original proposal, has now made all three hospitals financially equivalent regarding the need for county money.
Following the recent commission meeting for hospital consideration, Nicole Snyder with WJBF news, interviewed Chairman Ron Cross and he stated “there is no question that University, in a public opinion, would probably have the edge because they have been here so long.” In reference to the necessary considerations of the commission, he stated
“It is not just patient care, but long term development, the research, the ability to train more doctors.”
During the meeting all commissioners agreed that this is a difficult decision to make, that the long term needs of the county are being weighed, and that they are seriously reviewing each hospital’s current financial documents.
I honestly appreciate all of their efforts, but I have monitored the words of politicians long enough to know that this meeting was clearly laying the groundwork to defend their decision (to select Georgia Regents). Whenever a politician continues to discuss the complexities of the financials, the projections, the proposals and the “long term” considerations then they are surely about to go against the will of the people.
All three proposals are excellent, viable and financially similar and therefore the commission’s responsibility is to the people that they were elected to represent.
Of the three hospitals, Doctor’s Hospital, GRU, or University:
Where do the majority of Columbia County residents currently seek treatment?
Where do the majority of Columbia County practicing physicians have privileges and refer their patients?
Which hospital do the majority of your physicians recommend when you are requiring hospitalization?
Every resident of this county deserves to have their voice heard. Each family within Columbia County has already made a decision for their family’s healthcare and by no means should these commissioners devalue your choice. If GRU is not the hospital that you prefer and/or the hospital that your physicians are privileged to practice in, then please contact your commissioner, attend the next county commission meeting or voice your concerns with our local media.
This matter will be addressed at the next commission meeting as stated by Chairman Cross during the most recent hospital consideration meeting.
He has been very clear to state that this decision should not be about just “patient care” or “public opinion,” but it is up to us, the citizens of Columbia County, to make sure that quality patient care and our physician choice is valued greater than that of research and doctor training.
Jodi Lott, Evans