Your opinions: Jan. 2, 2016

Published 12:24 pm Monday, January 4, 2016

Patient gives Phoebe Sumter high marks
In early December, 2015, I was suddenly awakened in the middle of the night by a terrible pain in my back. Thinking of everything from a pulled muscle to a kidney stone, the pain was unbearable. I quickly realized the need to get to the Emergency Room. I was taken to a room within 2-3 minutes and the RN was there within seconds. After explaining my situation, Dr. Toledo, the ER Doctor came in and immediately ordered a morphine injection. A CT scan was ordered and within a few minutes the Technician came and got me. He was very professional and understanding. Dr. Toledo came back in and a kidney stone had been ruled out, but my gall bladder was a possibility. Herein enters, Dr. Douglas Joiner. After consultation with the Radiologist, it was determined I had a hole in my colon (large intestine). Emergency surgery was needed. It was at this point that I realized I might not survive. Infection and bacteria were real conditions that may end my life. Dr. Joiner explained all the possibilities to me and my wife. My response, do what you got to do to solve the problem. Following a 2 and 1/2 hour surgery by Dr. Joiner and his son, Dr. Jeremy Joiner, I would later learn a portion of my large and small intestines were removed. A sizeable hole had ruptured in my colon. During the next two days I thought I was dying. I was attended by the most wonderful RN’s, LPN’s, and CNA’s at the hospital. Everyone was courteous, caring, and professional. Both Doctors and their PA Candace Usry could not have helped me more. After a week in the hospital, I was released and am at home recovering.
I write this to let everyone know that we are all so very fortunate to have Phoebe-Sumter Hospital right here in our town. I received first-class care from a dedicated staff of dedicated professionals.
Thank you.
Don Davis

Georgia should reconsider decision on Medicaid
I commend the Georgia Chamber of Commerce for its recent launch of a task force to explore ways to improve healthcare access throughout Georgia. In my opinion Medicaid expansion would be a significant step towards that goal, including providing healthcare for the working poor.
Georgia is near the bottom of the 50 states in the health of its citizens. While federal taxes, paid by Georgians, help provide Medicaid expansion in over 30 other states, Georgia denies this benefit to its own low income citizens. This is costing Georgia thousands of jobs, contributing to the financial strain on hospitals and denying primary and preventive care to those who badly need it. This results in many avoidable emergency room visits.
Since the federal government is initially funding 100% of the cost of Medicaid expansion, gradually reducing to 90%, it is hard to justify denying this service to our working poor.
Ironically, while other states expanded Medicaid at federal expense, Georgia’s enrollment in traditional Medicaid increased significantly, putting an additional cost on Georgia’s taxpayer.
I think the Chamber of Commerce would be right in asking Georgia’s political leaders to reconsider their decision to deny Medicaid expansion.
Robert A. Clay