Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Burn Center Debacle

Where were burn center advocates?
It has become increasingly frustrating to see and hear continued coverage of the pushing forward with a plan to create what would be the state's only burn unit, at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson.To this day, no one has explained to us why Greenville isn't fighting to restart the Mississippi Firefighters Memorial Burn Center, which closed in 2005 after 33 years in operation.

It's like no one in Mississippi really fought to keep the Greenville burn center open when it had problems, and now that it is closed, it somehow should be reopened in Jackson. Sure we've heard the stories of how Jackson is a more central location, how there's better transportation in and out of Jackson and how it's easier to attract doctors to Jackson.Those are all cop outs and Greenville should be ashamed for not doing more to help bring back the burn center.Last we checked, there are four-lane highways going in and out of Greenville, and getting to Greenville from other places in the state isn't like it was 33 years ago. It's amazingly easy to travel through Mississippi today compared to just 10 years ago, whether someone is traveling to Tupelo, Meridian, Natchez, Greenville or the Coast.Plus, many burn victims are transported by helicopter, which has nothing to do with interstate highways.As for it being easier to lure doctors to Jackson, then we need to do a better job of luring doctors and giving people like that a reason to come and stay in Greenville.

If education is the key, then Jackson isn't the right place. Last time we checked, people of means living in Jackson are still sending their children to private schools.The worst part for us is there wasn't enough money to help fund a burn center in Greenville and now suddenly, the House approved a bill Tuesday would give UMC $10 million to finish a floor of the critical care unit to be used for burn treatment. The bill also would give UMC money each year to run the center, which likely would treat large numbers of uninsured patients. The proposal still must clear both chambers of the Legislature and signed into law by the governor.That kind of money and commitment, however, would have saved the burn center in Greenville.Instead, we have another case of the Mississippi Delta getting the shaft from those outside the Delta, like Rep. Steve Holland, who could care less about our little part of Mississippi.

And let's not forget the financial and hard-working efforts of the Mississippi firefighters some 35 years ago that helped bring a burn center to Greenville in the first place. Somewhere lost in all of this is waste they must feel for everything they have done through the years only to have it thrown down the toilet.For those who haven't and won't fight to bring back the burn center, please stop complaining about what needs to be done to improve the quality of life in Greenville and the Mississippi Delta, because it's those people who are part of the problem and not the solution.

Here's the truth about the Burn Center...

The burn center is just another of the many victims of Ray Humphrey's fiscal irresponsibility. He purchased a hospital (King's Daughters) out of a personal vendetta against a for-profit healthcare system with which he could not compete. In the wake of his apparent folly, our burn center became the sacrificial lamb which he could no longer staff with physicians or nurses.

Rob Love, III, read the writing on the wall and fled Greenville. To save face, Ray needed a offset to his irresponsible spending... the likely candidate, the burn center.

He could now blame the rest of the state for not supporting it (not true), and Ray remains in power! No one was notified in advance, including the politicians and supporters of this long standing "gift" to Greenville.

...Just one more jewel in Ray's Crown... and the band plays on!



Anonymous said...

From what I understand the burn center is just not a money making
venture. It ties up resources that could be better used.I hate the Humphrey's administration but must be on the side of logic. Quit whining and think of a better use. Maybe
an expensive rehab center for all the spoiled rich kids from this area.

P.S. Didn't Someone high up get convicted for embezzlement of money
from the burn center. I can see them laughing at us in Jackson right now.

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