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Saving Lives and Costs in Hancock County: Governor Deal’s Proposal to Improve Rural Health Care in Georgia

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By Senator David Lucas, Georgia Senate District 26

Hancock County, which is in my Georgia State Senate District 26, shut its hospital down fourteen years ago, in 2001, the first in a wave of rural hospital closures in Georgia. Unfortunately, Hancock County is still paying $644,000 annually in debt service for the former privilege, now a continuing burden, of having had access to that long-closed hospital.

Today, Hancock County’s county seat, Sparta, lies about 63 miles away from the regional medical center in Macon. Although there is some emergency treatment in Hancock County, opportunities for more complex diagnosis and care are lacking there.

Constituents of mine in Hancock County are at risk of dying unnecessarily from lack of access to state-of-the-art health care. A possible case in point involved a nine-year-old boy who flipped a golf cart in Hancock County, but died within about 45 minutes, … Continue Reading

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