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Trauma care network to get attention
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Effingham County’s legislative delegation expects the General Assembly to address trauma care sooner rather than later.

“There’s no question about it. It’s something that is important to all Georgians,” said state Rep. Buddy Carter (R-Pooler). “We have to have a statewide trauma system. That’s something we’ve got to address this year.”

Gov. Sonny Perdue floated the idea of higher tickets on so-called “superspeeders” on the state’s highways to pay for the trauma network. He proposes spending $53 million to bolster the state’s trauma care network, which consists of 14 hospitals.

Some estimates put the target for adequate trauma care across Georgia at $80 million a year.

“I do think we’ll find a formula to fund trauma care,” said state Sen. Jack Hill (R-Reidsville), the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Rep. Jon Burns said he was glad to see Gov. Perdue and Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle begin to address health care at the start of the session.

“Health care costs are out of reason,” he said, noting the burden put on small business owners to provide coverage.

“They are consuming a large part of our budgets.”

Gov. Perdue put forth a health insurance partnership last year and plans to spend $17 million for coverage of small business employees.

Burns also backed the state’s hospitals and alluded to their importance in other factors.

“Our hospitals are important,” he said. “Health care is important to our economic development. If we don’t have health care in our community, we don’t qualify for new industry.”