Now, citing an improvement in testing and hospitalization rates, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp is asking for people across the state to help by going back to the doctor to get their routine checkups and elective procedures.
"Georgia's health systems are ready to serve patients for elective procedures and routine appointments," Kemp assured. "I want to strongly encourage everyone to get important checkups on their calendars."
In the past few days, Kemp said, several of the state's largest and most successful health systems - including Wellstar and Emory Healthcare - have announced that they will have to cut hours and furlough employees in order to offset major budget shortages.
During the first few weeks of the pandemic, when officials recommended strict social distancing guidelines, many health systems suspended elective procedures and checkups in order to help slow the spread of the virus. Because of that, much of the revenue from those visits dried up, leaving those health systems in dire need when they're needed more than ever - a twist of irony.
"Please go to your doctor for a checkup if you are due for one," Kemp urged. "Schedule time for routine procedures, like dental cleanings and eye exams and other tests that can prioritize your health."
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