New healthcare initiative for rural Georgia - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

New healthcare initiative for rural Georgia

November 30, 2004

Bainbridge - The OB unit at Memorial hospital in Bainbridge, is one of the most advanced in the state, but without proper funding, CEO Jim Peak says the equipment and personal here, will fall behind. He says, "At small rural hospitals, it's very difficult to access the capital market."

But now there's an opportunity for rural hospitals to borrow the money they need. Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine says, "They can get that money and use that cash for whatever programs they need to modernize and update that hospital so they can provide the best healthcare available."

And some of the best healthcare professionals will now be networked with rural hospitals to bring in the best medical treatments possible, through cameras and other specialized equipment. Oxendine says, "The doctor will be able to direct everything he wants and do whatever, look at any part of the body, touch, feel, examine the body."

And by bringing that special touch to rural hospitals, patients will reap the rewards. Peak says, "Any more access that we can have is only beneficial to the people of Southwest Georgia." Especially since they don't have to leave Southwest Georgia in order to be treated.

The insurance commissioners office will begin accepting applications from rural hospitals tomorrow. 36 hospitals across the state will be linked with specialists from Mercer, Emory, Morehouse and the Medical College of Georgia.

posted at 5:20 PM by karen.collier@walb.com