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El alza del impuesto del hospital del trauma aplastó

por Brendon Nafziger, DOTmed News Associate Editor | November 04, 2010
Georgia voters rejected a proposal that would have raised their annual car registration fee by $10 to help pay for the state's ailing trauma hospitals, the Associated Press reports.

The nixed constitutional amendment would have raised $80 million to help fund the state's 17 trauma hospitals and entice other hospitals to offer trauma care, the AP said.

State health officials said Georgia needs at least 25 to 30 trauma centers, in part because many Georgians live 50 miles or more from the nearest center, and in part because their death rate from traumatic injury is 20 percent higher than the national average, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

If the death rate from traumas, such as falls, workplace accidents, and car wrecks, were closer to the national average, it would mean 700 fewer deaths a year, the paper reported.

But the grim facts weren't enough to sway voters. The bill was defeated by around 53 percent to 47 percent, according to the Albany Herald.

"In this political and economic climate, everyone is in favor of trauma - but nobody wanted to pay $10," said Dr. Doug Patten, senior vice president of medical affairs at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany, Georgia, according to the Herald.

Despite the setback, Phoebe officials said the hospital will continue to apply for Level 2 trauma certification. The hospital has already spent $2 million this year on hiring surgeons.