Several hundred residents, emergency medical-service providers and trauma survivors appeared at a rally to support funding for a statewide trauma network in Georgia. The Feb. 23 rally, dubbed Trauma Day, was the latest in a series of efforts by advocates to bolster emergency spending in Georgia.
Demonstrators gathered at the state Capitol in Atlanta to urge legislators to fund more trauma hospitals throughout the state and ensure an effective system for patients who need emergency care. The Medical Association of Georgia, which has said that the state needs 25 to 30 designated trauma centers located strategically to accommodate emergency preparedness, in late January endorsed three legislative measures that would create funding sources for those centers.
The three billsincluding fees for automobile tags, telephone services and wireless devices, and fines for speeding motoristswould help obtain the estimated $100 million needed to sustain the current system while beginning to build more funding sources for an adequate system, the medical association said. The legislation is currently pending, although the association hopes that changes soon, according to Tom Kornegay, a spokesman for the association.
The association believes it is imperative for lawmakers to find a legislative solution for a permanent and sustainable funding solution for the trauma-care system in Georgia during the 2009 legislative session, Kornegay said in an e-mail.
A survey of residents in Georgia found support for increased trauma funding despite economic hardships, according to the University of Georgias Survey Research Center. According to the center, 69% of the 397 respondents said that they would be willing to pay $25 a year to fund trauma care, and 88% agreed that creating and maintaining a statewide trauma system is a government responsibility. The survey was paid for through a grant from the Healthcare Georgia Foundation, which supports the statewide trauma initiative.