U.S. Sen. David Perdue of Georgia had only praise for staff at Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville following a tour of the hospital on Thursday.
“I give them a five-star rating…when you look at how they’re treating patients, how long they’re there, the death rate per 100,000 and all of that kind of stuff, they are absolutely one of the best, even in the country,” said Perdue.
Perdue made a point to mention how well staff have adapted in changes for treating patients during the pandemic.
“You see what they’re doing in terms of adapting their treatments, their regiments, how they’re handling patients, how they’re identifying the disease…[this hospital] has done the yeoman’s work as far as standing up to this pandemic,” he said.
Perdue said Thursday’s visit was his first time at the hospital since the beginning of the pandemic. He said he visited the hospital because of several issues that hospital officials have brought to his attention, including the need for more medical personnel and what he referred to as “bureaucratic nonsense” involving insurance companies.
“If you have a patient that comes in for five days, the insurance company will pay five days but it will take them three or four more days before they get approved to get out of here so they have to spend three or four more days in the hospital unnecessarily,” said Perdue. “That’s a bureaucratic problem, not a healthcare problem.”
As far as helping the hospital get more medical personnel, Perdue said he is working to help get the Healthcare Workforce Resiliency Act passed in Congress, which would bring in personnel from the immigration system.
“We have a way to reach back into our immigration system and find that there are 200,000 unused visas that would qualify…and all we need is 25,000,” said Perdue.
The hospital was the second stop in Gainesville for Perdue, who also visited Fox Factory, a company that makes products for bicycles and powered vehicles.
According to a press release from Perdue’s office, the senator praised Fox Factory for continuing to hire workers during the pandemic.
“Fox Factory’s investment in Georgia is a testament to our skilled workforce, world-class infrastructure, and business-friendly climate,” Perdue said. “Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, Fox Factory has continued to hire workers to staff their new, state-of-the-art facility in Hall County.