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Residents should make the voices heard on hospital decision

Posted: March 11, 2014 - 11:11pm

Dear editor:

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

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Comments (4)


CC commissioners/CC building contractors need a new hospital

Speak out? Like meeting to oppose a Rain Tax and being threatened by armed police. The Rain Tax was opposed. CC commissioners have the power, yes. Uncontrolled power. Uncontrolled power to collect taxes at the point of a gun. I think a war was fought 1776-1781 in opposition to "taxation without representation". Uncontrolled power to rezone and rezone property at the whim of a financially strapped friend. Are we just now seeing how the "power structure" can and will do whatever they darn well please. Unopposed, uncontrolled, unethical despots do not response to "public opinion.

CC history. Past and present. How one family can collect taxes, vote on the use of those taxes and construct county buildings for profit using those same taxes.

Can we say having a blank check to do whatever you please for your own gratification and then denying the truth.


What Was the Adjustment?

"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."

What was the adjustment University made to their proposal?

Little Lamb


This process seems a bit backward. The hospitals approach with a proposal and the commissioners must pick one. What about the old fashioned way where the commissioners hold public hearings about what is needed, meet with consultants to draw up a specification package, and submit the package the four hospitals for bidding?

That way, you're looking at pricing for the same item, instead of different proposals with different pricing.

The process Columbia County is using for this hospital thing comes from the Geri Sams school of procurement.


About the University Bid Change

University changed their proposal to pay the county back its 20% contribution immediately and call it tax payments in advance. Maybe our questions concerning the county contribution had an effect.