Public hearing being considered for University purchase of McDuffie medical center

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The chairman of the board that governs the McDuffie Regional Medical Center told county commissioners Tuesday that a public hearing on University Health Care System's offer to purchase the hospital is being considered.

Bill Doupe, chairman of the McDuffie County Hospital Authority, also promised that if the hospital is sold it will not move from McDuffie County.

"Our goal -- and we're all committed to it -- is keeping health care in McDuffie County, not just for the next year or five years. We want to be here 20 years from now, 30 years from now, 50 years from now," he said.

Hospital administrator Doug Keir also told the board that the medical center has no long-term debt. Doupe said that has given the board an opportunity to carefully consider the University offer.

The hospital authority and University have a confidentiality agreement that prevents discussion of the details of the offer.

"I think it may be frustrating for some of you and for members of the public who may be listening that you don't hear a lot about what's going on with the negotiations," Doupe said, "and the reason for that is that it's a silent process."

But he said the board looks at the solution as a community effort.

"If we don't do something, we're not going to have a hospital. And we need a hospital to stay in McDuffie County," Doupe said.

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Just My Opinion
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Just My Opinion 06/22/11 - 10:01 am
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Okay, McDuffie, say good-bye

Okay, McDuffie, say good-bye to your hospital as you know it. Once this goes thru...and it will...then you'll have no more "hometown, personal" type care that you've grown to appreciate and expect from a small hospital. It's all going to be about the mighty dollar. Please make note of my name and this comment, because a year after this happens and everything is in place, you'll see a noticeable difference in your hospital. And it won't be one you like. If you want an example of what I'm talking about, come to Augusta and look at the old St. Joseph hospital, now Trinity. You'll find very few happy and content employees there. I guess it's all in the name of progress. Money is boss. Fewer people doing more of the work...except the administration, and they're the ones getting the big bonuses.

curly123053
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curly123053 06/22/11 - 10:33 am
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I have to agree with your

I have to agree with your comments Just My Opinion. I remember when the old Aiken County Hospital closed and the Aiken Regional Medical Center opened. Going from a county owned and operated hospital to a private for profit hospital provided many services the county could not afford, but it did away with the personal services we had before. Once you let go of that small town hospital it's gone, but I also understand small counties and hospital's expenses are to blame. McDuffie County needs to make sure the contract they write really looks out for the interests of their citizens more than the almighty dollar.

Momyar
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Momyar 06/22/11 - 10:33 am
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I say sell it!! It would have

I say sell it!! It would have to improve the care you get when you're there. The ER is less than a band aid station. Fractured ankle on a Friday not notified until my personal doctor received the report on Wednesday. No one from the ER department called to tell me I was walking on a fractured ankle.....it was just a bad sprain according to the ER doctor.

Another time sprained right ankle. Received an air cast for the left leg. Another time daughter almost cut the tip of her finger off spent 4 hours in the ER waiting on the doctor to sew it up. Meanwhile the ER doctor's on the phone, across from our exam room, talking about college basketball scores.

Just My Opinion
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Just My Opinion 06/22/11 - 12:11 pm
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Momyar, after reading your

Momyar, after reading your comments, I don't think the problem is the hospital, I think it's YOU!! Sounds as if you spend entirely too much time in the ER and when they see you hobbling in, they all scatter and have to draw straws to see who has to help you! Just kiddin'!

dixiebelle30824
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dixiebelle30824 06/22/11 - 01:47 pm
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Just my Opinion & curly....I

Just my Opinion & curly....I have to say MRMC ER sucks. It can't get no worse than it is now! Took mother-in-law there for servere vomiting and stomach pains....she laid in the ER for over 7 hours before they decided OMG she needs to be airlifted to Augusta....she died the next week from complications from THEIR crappy service!!!!! Everytime I have ever been through their ER for an emergency for myself or anyone for that fact, have set waiting to be seen for over 4 to 5 hours..... Yes they SUCK!!! They have crappy Doctors, if that's what you call them!!!

curly123053
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curly123053 06/22/11 - 02:19 pm
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If University bought the

If University bought the hospital then hopefully the ER service would improve if UHS staffed the ER with emergency certified doctors. I recall working EMS in a couple of smaller rural counties around 2000 and local doctors took their turn manning the ER. I also recall my unit getting called to the ER in one of those smaller hospitals at the doctor's request because my paramedic partner who was ACLS certified(Advanced Cardiac Life Support) was more experienced to help him on a pre-code in the ER. Now, that was scary. I was glad I did not live in that county. Two years later that same hospital hired a local doctor to bring in emergency certified doctors to man the ER, and service drastically improved. Patients we used to transfer out to the larger hospitals were actually being stabilized and admitted, and discharged a few days later. That hospital went from being a bandaid station to being a pretty good rural ER for a hospital it's size. Hopefully the same will happen for the citizens of McDuffie County.

Momyar
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Momyar 06/27/11 - 08:36 pm
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Too funny Just My

Too funny Just My Opinion....my parents didn't name me Grace for a reason.

Curly... McDuffie Hospital is no longer staffed by local doctors. It's contracted out. I've seen the same doctor over several years for myself and others of my family and still have crappy service. I've contacted the management several times and things still don't improve. We'll see what happens if University purchases it. I sure hope they do and move it closer to I-20.

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