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New UGA Survey Shows Georgians Want and Are Willing to Pay For Statewide Trauma System

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Two-thirds Are Willing to Pay $25 or More Annually for a Trauma System

Atlanta, Georgia – January 15, 2008 – Two-thirds of the Georgians who responded to a December telephone survey said they would be willing to pay $25 or more a year to support a statewide trauma system because it saves lives.

The Survey Research Center at the University of Georgia conducted the “Knowledge and Perceptions Related to Trauma Centers and Systems in Georgia Follow-up Survey” with support from Healthcare Georgia Foundation. Data were generated from a telephone interview of a RDD (Random Digit Dial) probability sample of 504 Georgia residents 18 years old or older, conducted between December 3rd and December 16th, 2007.

The purpose of the survey was to assess perceptions and knowledge of Georgia residents about trauma centers and existing trauma care systems in Georgia, according to Healthcare Georgia Foundation president Gary Nelson. A similar survey, conducted in December 2006, also showed strong support for a statewide trauma system that provides the same speed and quality of care for rural Georgians.

“For the second year, the survey shows that Georgians overwhelmingly favor building a statewide trauma care system that would save 600-700 lives each year,” said Nelson. “Moreover, respondents made it clear in this year’s survey that they believe that government should use multiple funding sources to invest in a trauma network that not only saves lives but also reduces future health care costs. Healthcare Georgia Foundation strongly encourages the development of a sound business plan to finance a comprehensive statewide trauma care network that serves all Georgians.”


Among the key findings of the survey:

  • 66.7% of the respondents said they are willing to pay $25 or more a year for a Georgia trauma system. Of those, 22.1% said they were willing to pay $25 a year and 44.6% said they were willing to pay more than $25 a year.
  • 88.9% said they believe a statewide trauma system is a government responsibility.
  • 75.9% said that funding for creating and maintaining a trauma system should be supported by public funds.
  • The highest levels of support for funding options among respondents were direct appropriation of state funds (74.7% extremely or somewhat supportive); increased fines on people convicted of traffic violations (69.4%); an additional tax on guns (65.5%); and, increased insurance/Medicaid payments to hospitals providing trauma care (51.3%).
  • 95.6% said it was extremely important or very important that a family member or close friend be treated in a trauma center and 42.7% said they had a family member or close friend who had experienced a serious life-threatening injury.

The reasons most often mentioned for supporting increased funding for trauma centers were “Improving Georgia’s trauma system would save between 600 – 700 lives a year” (87.7%); “Lack of trauma care results in millions of dollars in costs for medical care” (82.5%); and, “One out of every three Georgians will need trauma care” (81.8%).

The support for a trauma system expressed in the new survey is similar to findings in the previous year’s survey in which nine out of ten respondents said they believe it is extremely important or very important to have a trauma system; eight out of ten said they believe it is extremely important or very important for rural areas to have the same speed and quality of trauma care; and, eight out of ten said they were extremely concerned or very concerned about trauma centers closing in Georgia.

The questionnaire, methods and data tables for this survey, as well as previous research conducted by the Survey Research Center with support from the Foundation, can be found at www.src.uga.edu. Links also are available at www.healthcaregeorgia.org and www.georgiaitsabouttime.com.

Motor vehicle crashes, falls, gunshot wounds and other traumatic injuries cause more than 5,000 deaths in Georgia and result in more than 100,000 calls for Emergency Medical Services (EMS). Trauma patients
who receive care at a trauma center within the first hour following the injury have a better chance of survival. But Georgia is served by only 15 trauma centers – about half the number needed, according to state health officials – and does not have a comprehensive, coordinated statewide trauma system. As a result, trauma death rates are significantly higher than the national average. Between 600 and 700 lives a year could be saved if Georgia’s trauma death rate was at the national average.

About Healthcare Georgia Foundation

Healthcare Georgia Foundation is a statewide, private independent foundation whose mission is to advance the health of all Georgians and to expand access to affordable, quality healthcare for underserved individuals and communities. Through its strategic grantmaking, Healthcare Georgia Foundation supports organizations that drive positive change, promotes programs that improve health and healthcare among underserved individuals and communities, and connects people, partners and resources across Georgia. For more information, please visit the Foundation online at: www.healthcaregeorgia.org.

About the Survey Research Center

The Survey Research Center is a multidisciplinary research center at the University of Georgia. It was established in 1981 to serve the research, teaching and service needs of the University, the state, and the larger community. Since 1984 the Center has been a constituent of the University's Institute for Behavioral Research, a coalition of behavioral scientists from various disciplines of the University who meet to work collectively on research problems. In July 2004, the Survey Research Center joined the Office of Research Services, but maintains a close relationship with the Institute for Behavioral Research. From its inception SRC has been involved in research conducted for a variety of clients and covering a wide range of topics. For more information, please visit: http://www.src.uga.edu.

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