Georgia public health care in jeopardy

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Money is a problem for most industries these days and health care is no exception. That's why Georgia Health leaders in Savannah gathered Monday for a special forum looking at how to balance the rising needs of the state's health care issue with the rising costs.

Coastal Health Care leaders are working together to find solutions that will help generate revenue from the state budget for the short term and long term needs of all Georgians.

They gathered in the Hoskins Center at Memorial University Medical Center for a forum on Georgia's budget crises.

The workshop was sponsored by 2020 Georgia. A coalition of more than 90 organizations, all concerned about public health and other government issues.

The group got an in depth look at Georgia's health care budget shortfalls and learned about the linkages of public health in a community and it's economic vitality.

As Georgia's population grows many health leaders are concerned by not having the resources they need funded. Georgia's health care future is in jeopardy.

"We got serious problems up and down the coast," said District Health Director Douglas Skelton M.D. "One of the things pointed out is we are losing about $1.5 million from our public health infrastructure and that pays for public health nurses and environmentalists. I said it clearly here, without those people I can't respond properly if a hurricane hits the coast or some other emergency that causes a multi county response."

Other concerns include Georgia's under funded medicaid program, loss of health care system jobs and lack of investment into community based programs. Leaders want Georgians to show support for investment in keeping people healthy and preventing disease.

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