Emergency Medical Services: A Matter of Public Safety sign now

The Greater Clarke County area has benefited for many years from excellent, hospital-based emergency ambulance coverage. Whether we live in Clarke County or simply go there to work, worship, attend athletic events, or utilize the services offered by the two local hospitals, we are concerned about the coverage and quality of emergency medical care. We are currently at-risk of losing these not-for-profit services in favor of a for-profit provider. Emergency Medical Services are a primary, public safety concern and are historically not very profitable. If a private, for-profit service takes over emergency medical coverage in Clarke County, there may be a decrease in the number of ambulances in service. This would lead to an increase in ambulance response times, which is associated with poorer patient outcomes. To date, there has not been a meaningful discussion involving the two local hospitals, the Athens/Clarke County Mayor and Commission and the greater Athens community. We the undersigned strongly urge administrators from Athens Regional Medical Center and St. Marys Hospital to enter into a dialogue with the Athens/Clarke County Mayor and Commission to resolve the issue regarding emergency medical care in Clarke County. We urge all parties to enter into these discussions in good faith and with the goal of preserving, or improving, emergency medical care and coverage in our community.

For more information go to:
http://www.onlineathens.com/stories/031008/news_2008031000162.shtml

http://www.onlineathens.com/stories/022708/letters_20080227040.shtml

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