Efforts to improve Georgia’s trauma system continue

Published 1:58 pm Friday, November 5, 2010

As chair of the Georgia Trauma Commission, I would like to take a few moments and provide some personal insights into the recent trauma campaign that was on the ballot on Nov. 2 as Amendment 2.

Many thanks to all of the patients, paramedics, nurses, physicians and the entire Yes 2 Save Lives campaign team and supporters for their tireless efforts in attempting to provide sustainable funding for Georgia’s trauma system. This is a noble cause with the ultimate goal of providing rapid access to life-saving trauma care to all Georgians involved in a serious accident.

Although disappointed in the outcome, it is important to note that 1.2 million Georgians supported access to trauma care and were willing to pay an additional fee of $10 per year. This is a significant amount of support even in these difficult economic times.

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As I traveled throughout the state and heard comments from voters and evaluating the polling data, it is clear that even the people that voted “no” want the same access to trauma care and the development of a trauma system.

They, however, would like the funding to be provided by the general fund of the state with no new taxes at this time. So it is important that we realize that this “no” vote is not against trauma system development, but simply an objection to the source of funding at this particular time in history.

The Georgia Tea Party has stated in various reports over the last two months that they support trauma care, but no new fees. The Trauma Commission will take this information back to our legislators in the next legislative session and we look forward to working with them to develop a statewide trauma system that will provide the rapid access to trauma care that we need.

In closing, we must remember that the injured patient is the reason that we continue to fight this battle for trauma system development. Our patients are grateful for our support and are counting on us. I hope that everyone will continue to work with us in the development of our system and again thank you for your tireless efforts supporting trauma care in Georgia!

Dennis Ashley, M.D.
Chairman, Georgia Trauma Commission Spokesman—Yes 2 Save Lives