Senator questions funding cuts for Medical College of Georgia

Tuesday, March 31, 2009 2:13 PM
Last updated 3:22 PM
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ATLANTA -- An Augusta senator is questioning cuts to the Medical College of Georgia recommended by the Senate Appropriations Committee. Instead, he argues for halting expansion to a campus in Athens.

The school would lose $5 million for general research and another $6 million earmarked for cancer research, which could force the closing of a Cancer Research Center on the school’s campus in Augusta, according to the Sen. Ed Tarver, D-Augusta.

The cuts were included in a version of the budget approved by the committee Monday. Mr. Tarver sent an e-mail today to the chairman of the committee, Sen. Jack Hill, R-Reidsville, questioning the cuts in light of funds left in the budget to keep on pace the Athens expansion.

“While I recognize the extremely difficult financial situation our state is experiencing, I question the logic of stopping an initiative that is up, running and successful at the same time that we allocate $7.7 million in new funding for a new initiative like Medical Education Expansion,” Mr. Tarver wrote. “Surely the Expansion of Medical Education could be delayed until Georgia’s economy begins to show some signs of recovery.”

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butterbrown
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butterbrown 03/31/09 - 02:15 pm
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I agree.

I agree.

We need reason
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We need reason 03/31/09 - 02:22 pm
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Seems logical to me. Fund

Seems logical to me. Fund what is functional already!!!!

Debster
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Debster 03/31/09 - 02:30 pm
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Augusta stood to lose long

Augusta stood to lose long before these proposed budget cuts. Now, if the cuts are approved, Athens will have the upper hand on teaching the next generation of health care providers. What a shame!

SusieQ
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SusieQ 03/31/09 - 02:37 pm
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I agree that they need not to

I agree that they need not to expand MCG to Athens Ga. at this time but we all knew Braun was planning on doing this when he was elected. I'm sure he is behind this. Keep the $7.7 million in Augusta where they have the program up, running and successful. SusieQ

MD2013
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MD2013 03/31/09 - 04:25 pm
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The education of physicians,

The education of physicians, in a state that is already ranking among the worst in the nation for the ratio of physicians: patients, with one of the largest population growths in the country, is an important cause. Increasing enrollment in a medical school is no easy task, and with the average length of training being ~8 years from when they matriculate, we better get started b/c this problem is only going to get worse.

With that said, we need to invest money in to our research institutions to fund medical breakthroughs, which eventually lead to prolonged survival and increased efficacy of our treatment regimes. Taking money away from the new Cancer Center, an incredible building that will touch 50% of the population in the CSRA, is not the way to address these shortfalls.

What we should be doing is asking why the SRS is getting $1,600,000,000 in federal stimulus money, at the same time that healthcare, cancer research, and the education of caregivers is being reduced.

Where are the priorities of our leaders?

Future MD

Fiat_Lux
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Fiat_Lux 03/31/09 - 04:36 pm
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It's pretty obvious that

It's pretty obvious that there are some powerful legislators doing their dead level best to steal MCG away from Augusta. The proposed cuts are just part of 'the plan' and conveniently can be blamed on falling state tax revenues. What a complete crock. I hope Senator Tarver drinks a lot more Go Juice to make sure that doesn't happen. And MD2013, you make an excellent point about relative priorities on the federal 'stimulus' appropriations. But not to worry: nationalized health care will take care of everything for all of us. After all, the savior has come.

MD2013
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MD2013 03/31/09 - 04:47 pm
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Where would MCG be going?

Where would MCG be going? There are satellite campuses in the works in Athens, Albany, and Savannah as well. From what I hear, there are no medical schools, in the country, that have >200 students/class at the same site. In order to meet the needs of the state of Georgia (which really are "needs"), MCG has been courting expansion sites due to the cities inability to educate any more medical school students (think patients, faculty, etc that must be in place to accomidate more students).

:(

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