Guest Viewpoint: Palmyra obstetrics

By Judith M. Corbett

After years of fighting for the right to deliver babies, Palmyra Medical Center was finally granted that right by the state more than a year ago.  But the hospital is nowhere close to opening an obstetrics unit, because Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital continues to block it.

After Georgia granted Palmyra a Certificate of Need for an obstetrics unit, Phoebe appealed.  They lost.  Phoebe appealed again and lost again.   Phoebe leaders say there's no need for the extra service.

The state has repeatedly disagreed.  South Georgia's largest hospital says they're continuing the fight in the best interest of the community and vow to go to court to prevent Palmyra from ever delivering a baby.

It should be crystal clear to you.  This issue is about choice.  Who's really focused on the choices for expectant parents in South Georgia?  Our citizens want quality, affordable healthcare, the latest technology and highly skilled physicians at their disposal. Phoebe leaders say expanding the service to Palmyra will actually hurt the quality of care in Albany.

When did choice in healthcare become bad for our citizens? Statistics show time and again that competition brings out the best in all parties concerned.

Other large cities in Georgia have multiple hospitals that deliver babies.  It works well there.  It would work well here.  Choice brings change, innovation, new perspectives and breakthroughs.

It's time for Phoebe to choose to embrace change in the landscape of healthcare in South Georgia by welcoming alternative obstetrics services and challenging itself to continue the best possible care for its patients.