We who live in rural counties know how far it is to decent hospitals. We women are acutely aware of how far it is to vital maternity care for ourselves and our wee bairns. The problem is that every minute we have to travel means that much longer that we and our babies are a high risk of severe injury or death because of a delay in proper care. Seconds count when babies’ lives are at stake. They simply will not wait until a car or ambulance is available to take you to a hospital.
So the closure of maternal health services in rural areas is a monster of a problem. From my home (near Luthersville), it is about 20 minutes to a hospital for care which isn’t too bad. But from Gay, Greenville, Warm Springs, Woodbury, Manchester, Antioch, White Sulfur Springs, Hamilton, and the surrounding farms, it takes much, much longer. I know because I’ve driven those roads. The old saying “you can’t get there from here” certainly applies. Oh, yeah, there’s a “hospital” in Warm Springs, but they do not have a maternity service. They do orthopedic rehabilitation which is a far cry.
What kind of time frames are we talking about out here? Depends on exactly where you are and where you want to be, but anywhere between 60-90 minutes of fast driving. Could be more if it is raining, foggy, or generally bad weather, and you know that will happen.
So why don’t rural hospitals just re-open maternity services? In a word, MONEY. They are expensive. They are extraordinarily costly. https://dailyyonder.com/nearly-half-of-rural-hospitals-lose-money-on-childbirth-services/2022/04/13/?link_id=9&can_id=3100881453ccd4c6273b88f31f0c383a&source=email-april-13-rural-press-clips-2&email_referrer=email_1511618&email_subject=april-14-rural-press-clips
Georgia needs more rural maternal care and more pediatric care. We use the Lotto to help fund our educational system. We can come up with something similar to parimutuel gambling to help fund our healthcare system. Tax tobacco, marijuana growers, gun manufacturers, and sellers, and fossil fuel burning industries and producers and use that money. There are ways to do this if we are creative enough. The poor and middle class do not have to fund this. The money should come from other sources.
I’m running for State Senate District 29. I want to make it a priority to get our rural healthcare back where it needs to be. I’ve worked in a tiny rural hospital over in Jackson, GA. That hospital only had 24 beds. It loses money like a sieve loses water. I KNOW from personal experience what they are like. But our communities need to have this care available. Help get me to Atlanta so I can work to make this happen. I know that it will take a lot of work and time to make it happen, but, with your help and my determination, we can succeed. I need YOUR VOTES and I need your financial support. Go to ActBlue.com and type my name in the search box at the top. It will take you to my donation page. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.