Athens campus causes concern

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ATLANTA - Medical College of Georgia President Dan Rahn reassured lawmakers Wednesday that plans for an Athens campus are no threat to the Augusta-based school.

MCG President Daniel W. Rahn said there are estimates of a sizable doctor shortage.  Special
Special
MCG President Daniel W. Rahn said there are estimates of a sizable doctor shortage.

"We're not exiting, and we're not forming a second medical school," Dr. Rahn told members of the Augusta legislative delegation. "Our strategy is for this to be a regional campus of MCG."

The lawmakers, however, remain wary.

"I would rather that investment be made in Augusta," Sen. Ed Tarver, D-Augusta, said of the 40 additional slots in Athens for first-year medical students. "Athens is only 91 miles away from Augusta. I can't see where it makes that much of a difference."

Mr. Tarver also told Dr. Rahn that members of the Augusta community appeared to be left out of the school's expansion plans, which only recently became publicly confirmed after Gov. Sonny Perdue included $3.8 million in his budget request to fund an MCG project in Athens.

Rep. Quincy Murphy, D-Augusta, brought up another concern.

"We're aware there's a need for a new dental school," he said. "Do we have a commitment that the (MCG) dental school will remain in Augusta?"

Dr. Rahn said that although new buildings soon will be needed to accommodate equipment for dental students, "There is no plan for that to be anywhere but the MCG campus. "

Dr. Rahn told the lawmakers that MCG hopes to have 40 new first-year students enrolled and living at the University of Georgia campus by fall 2009 because Augusta's facilities are unable to take in more students immediately and the demand for new doctors continues to increase.

In Athens, where university system officials are looking at the soon-to-be vacant Navy Supply Corps School for MCG classes, area hospitals are eager to take in new students needing to perform clinical work, Dr. Rahn said.

"We just felt it was a much steeper hill to climb to expand in Augusta," Dr. Rahn said.

MCG is trying to meet national industry goals to increase medical school enrollment, which has remained flat for years, by having 200 students annually starting classes in the next four or five years.

To do that, the school hopes to use the Athens campus in addition to satellites in Savannah and Albany.

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iletuknow
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iletuknow 02/15/07 - 04:00 am
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$3.8 million from the

$3.8 million from the taxpayers but can't help the sick with no money or insurance?

Just My Opinion
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Just My Opinion 02/15/07 - 05:54 am
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This is done deal, folks.

This is done deal, folks. The "powers that be" have already decided, behind closed doors, that this will take place no matter what the legislatures do or say. From reading this, you can see that the government boys are powerless, mainly because they found out about it too late...and that was the plan all along by the "powers that be".
Don't mean to sound paranoid, but I'm sure, in this case, there were a group of powerful men who made this happen without the public getting wind of it because they didn't want the public to stop it for them. Money is surely involved.

JimCox
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JimCox 02/15/07 - 08:00 am
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Congratulate the crack team

Congratulate the crack team of democrat Senators and Representatives that you elect to represent Richmond County in Atlanta. They will always be out of the loop, and as long as you keep re-electing them, the people of Augusta can expect more of the same.

georgiadawg1
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georgiadawg1 02/15/07 - 09:33 am
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IletUknow, the statement

IletUknow, the statement "$3.8 million from the taxpayers but can't help the sick with no money or insurance?" shows how ignorant you must be. Don't you understand that if there is funding for expanded Medical Programs then more doctors can be trained, leading to more doctors in practice and working at hospitals to take care of you people that are sick and have no money or insurance. Doctors offices constantly give care to the less-fortunate and un-insured by THEY, along with other taxpayers, are the ones also paying the skyrocking premiums for health insurance to cover the un-insured. I'm so sick of poor, un-insured people complaining when most of them have no initiative to get off their lazy butts and work and make something of their life. Medicaid is abused by so many lazy people in this country who want a free hand-out while other hardworking people, like me, foot the bill. OUR (meaning those who actually pay taxes and have insurance) tax dollars would be very well spent on expanding MCG to include an Athens campus because it will benefit everyone. More doctors to provide care means more doctors offices, means less waiting, means more UN-INSURED patients can be seen, etc.

BoldTruth
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BoldTruth 02/15/07 - 10:54 am
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mjmurphy, I sure hope nothing

mjmurphy, I sure hope nothing bad ever really happens to you and you lose your medical insurance. Also, how can you lump everyone without insurance as poor and lazy. What about the middle-class people that are self-employed but can not afford the medical insurance. Are they also poor and lazy? I don't like giving people labels, but I believe the label you gave Iletuknow describes you when it come to this topic. So you will know I have insurance and I have a very good paying job. Didn't want you to think that I was a poor person that could not afford medical insurance.

spartan22
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spartan22 02/15/07 - 10:59 am
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'means more UN-INSURED

'means more UN-INSURED patients can be seen', huh? what?
are you kidding , creating more doctors who SEE NO PROFIT WORKING INDIGENT CARE AND UNINSURED CASES. what are you smoking? that will never happen. thats like Detroit churning out more cars than there are ppl. in the US,we dont need them they will just fill the landfills.

spartan22
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spartan22 02/15/07 - 11:04 am
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MCG Augusta is seen as a

MCG Augusta is seen as a quagmire, lets see ---its cut staff 8 times in 5 years and changed upper management so many times its silly. Yeah, move a real working hospital to Athens. No doubt.Augusta can never get it right---itsbeen tried. Its no surprise this happened. Maybe back when they starting running MCG like a car business and less like a hospital thats when the powers that be said, lets scrap it and move to Athens, we will get Sonny to pay for it.

intheknow
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intheknow 02/15/07 - 11:38 am
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I guess this murphy guy or

I guess this murphy guy or lady want the children of Georgia to go to work and get off of their lazy butts. Typical answer from a person thats always right. Well as a tax payer I do not mind spending whatever it takes to ensure that the truely needy have health care.

What a joke
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What a joke 02/15/07 - 01:16 pm
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What you are all forgetting

What you are all forgetting that MCG hospital is now MCG Health Inc. separate from the state supported school. The decisions that Health Inc. made that turn aside the poor have nothing to do with the school. Medicare/Medicaid and other indigent care funding need to be increased by our "Representatives" in the statehouse.

CoastalDawg
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CoastalDawg 02/15/07 - 02:19 pm
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Well let me say this about

Well let me say this about that: A few years ago a very large home improvement company convinced a smaller one to share a shopping center and it also convinced the small company to share inlet and outlet to that center, "promising" not to do anything further to increase the market for the big company. Guess what? The smaller local company was soon in bankruptcy and gone while the "new kid on the block" took over and has now zoomed to national prominence. There are already plans in Savannah for a medical school campus, but NOT connected with the medical college of Georgia, but with either Mercer or Emory, Mercer I believe. Once a "satellite" campus is established in Athens, the MCG which has enjoyed such great prominence in Augusta all these years and which also has produced great doctors, research, a dental school and on and on will find itself the "stepchild" of any funds and will see those funds going to improve and expand the Athens campus. Time to stop it now or Augusta will be the big loser. That's how government works though now - one person gets an "idea" (not necessarily and often NOT a good one), convinces a few top people that it's a good idea and that's it! AMEN!

erinm82
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erinm82 02/15/07 - 03:29 pm
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Where exactly is MCG supposed

Where exactly is MCG supposed to expand in Augusta. If you have not noticed The campus is getting crowded and there is very little room for expansion. The Athens campus will be a benefit to augusta, athen, the state of georgia, and most importantly you. These doctors are despritely need and I for one am very happy to see MCG trying to do something about it.

georgiadawg1
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georgiadawg1 02/15/07 - 04:07 pm
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reality1, if you correctly

reality1, if you correctly read my post you would have seen that I didn't say ALL poor/less-fortunate people without insurance are lazy. But reality is that a good number of them are. The lines at the Welfare/Medicaid offices are out the door, but do you see as many people standing in line at the unemployment office or a job agency? Don't think so. As far as your comment about hoping something doesn't happen to me to cause me to lose my health insurance. Your right, something could happen to me and I could be in the same boat, but I guarantee you I would do everything in my power to change the outcome. I wouldn't just sit back looking for a hand-out, expecting others to pay for my health care and to have sympathy for me. I would sell half of everything I own to afford my own health insurance if I had to, because I can't stomach the thought of living off of someone elses taxes. Yes, there are many people who simple cannot do anything about their situation and THOSE are the people that need help from government programs such as Welfare and Medicaid. But there are many lazy, good-for-nothings who would rather sit back and take advantage of the system while I pay for them to.

buck
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buck 02/15/07 - 04:11 pm
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The state of Georgia needs

The state of Georgia needs more than 1 medical school. all of the other 10 most populous states have at least 3 medical schools. Should we hold back just beacuse Augusta may no longer have a monopoly on medical education in the state any longer?

kerry52
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kerry52 02/15/07 - 04:29 pm
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There is more than one

There is more than one medical school in GA. Emory has one and there is another around Atlanta.

buck
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buck 02/15/07 - 04:45 pm
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Public medical school.

Public medical school.

buck
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buck 02/15/07 - 04:48 pm
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Even Alabama, Tennessee and

Even Alabama, Tennessee and South Carolina have 2 public medical schools each.

HillGuy
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HillGuy 02/15/07 - 05:23 pm
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If you ask MCG students about

If you ask MCG students about 99% of them would rather be in Athens or Atlanta then Augusta. They see this as a backwards city and their stint here as med students as "doing time." Face it .. Augusta is just not a vibrant place to be for college students and young professionals. And many of them are choosing to go to med school out of state than be stuck in "Disgusta", and with Georgia's doctor shortage... we can't afford that. If building a second campus in Athens will help keep more young doctors in Georgia, then I say build it. Maybe if Augusta could get its act together, clean itself up so it doesn't look like a dump 51 weeks out of year and move into the 21st century, then maybe more students would want to come here and there wouldn't be a need to build a second med school in Athens. But believe me.. if I was a 23 year old med student and I had a choice of going to school in Athens or Augusta..... you better believe my choice would be Athens all the way.

govdog
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govdog 02/15/07 - 05:33 pm
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Take a good look at the

Take a good look at the elected officials making decisions in Richmond County. All the smart people and businesses are bolting from the downtown crime zone.

HillGuy
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HillGuy 02/15/07 - 05:46 pm
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MCG has tried to expand in

MCG has tried to expand in the past and has had great difficulties. Remember when MCG wanted to buy the Public HOusing projects next to it to build student Housing? It tried for years with no success. I don't see much room at the Augusta campus for expansion. Plus I think it is a good idea to have a medical program at a state's flagship University, where there can be cooperative research. Georgia is one of the fastest growing states in the country.. there are smaller states that have more than one public medical school. The decision should be based on what's best for all of Georgia.... not to steer more government money to Augusta.

LaTwon
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LaTwon 02/15/07 - 08:10 pm
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the entitlement mentality

the entitlement mentality never ceases to amaze me. medicaid pays the tab for 78% of all babies born in georgia. 78% of all babies in ga. are born into an entitlement lifestyle. doctors slave their asses off working 14 to 16 hours a day and are forced to take a loss on govt entitled beneficiaries. medicaid pays doctors less than a good plumber makes. these needy people never seem to have a problem having cable, cell phones, weed, beer, and all the other items that are more essential than health insurance.

OtisSledge
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OtisSledge 02/15/07 - 08:10 pm
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Had Dan Rahn and MCG

Had Dan Rahn and MCG addressed the well known issue of providing an adequate number of physicans for Georgia, this would be a non-issue. While Rome burned Dan fiddled.

OtisSledge
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OtisSledge 02/15/07 - 08:15 pm
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HillGuy, there is plenty of

HillGuy, there is plenty of room down there to expand. Go west young man! And if you can address the issue objectively, would you rather be in Augusta or Athens? MCG does not have a football team.

OtisSledge
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OtisSledge 02/15/07 - 08:22 pm
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MCG is one of 34 schools

MCG is one of 34 schools under the Georgia Board of Regents. South Carolina's two public Med Schools are under seperate BOR's. Georgia's BOR has no interest in protecting MCG. They have always favored UGA and Tech as their flagship schools.

MUSC's BOR is there solely to protect MUSC. Think about it.

HillGuy
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HillGuy 02/15/07 - 09:15 pm
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"Go West Young Man"????? I

"Go West Young Man"?????
I think they are doing just that... all the way west to Athens.

My Opinion
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My Opinion 02/15/07 - 10:42 pm
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My husband and I were not

My husband and I were not sitting on our lazy butts when he became disabled and we lost our insurance nor or we on Medicaid. MCG is out for the all mighty dollar be it Athens or Augusta. I send them $200/month and it is not enough (they want $600) so they turn me over to a collection agency. Also, try calling and making an appointment if you have a balance due on your account. They tell you the balance must be put on a credit card or bank card before they can see you. If they are turning away everyone why expand?

OtisSledge
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OtisSledge 02/15/07 - 11:50 pm
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cf420, I observed the

cf420, I observed the transition of MCG from caring to a money making machine. All the Doc's who really cared about MCG and Augusta were paid off with early retirement. The only people that are left are those who drank the coolaide and care nothing about poor people, indigent care or anything other than $$$$. Once the hospital paid Charles Walker for helping them take the hospital from a State facility to a seperate corporation, they only care about the almighty dollar. How they got there is another story. Dan Rahn the President of MCG loves the $11,000,000 a year in descretionary funds that the hospital pays him for his support . He has become a puppet of the hospital. Otis

govdog
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govdog 02/16/07 - 08:13 am
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These same strains on the

These same strains on the economy and healthcare system arrive at the hospital with 100K pimped out rides with no job or insurance. The sell drugs for a living and draw aid from our gov. I see it every day and it burns me a new one.

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