Where should you go? A comparison between East Georgia Regional Medical Center and Georgia Southern’s Health Services Center

Kurt Hanlon

It’s Friday night and you find your friend on the side of the road, again, desperately stumbling through the effects of a high BAC on a trek home from the bars. This is not the first time it has happened and without some sort of help it probably won’t be the last. So, what’s the best (and cheapest) option for short and long-term treatment in our small college town?

Two of the main medical centers available to Georgia Southern students: the Health Services Center located on campus next to the Forest Drive Building and the East Georgia Regional Medical Center, located at 1499 Fair Road.

While both institutions provide basic services and amenities such as emergency medical treatment, primary care and on-site labs, EGRMC has an advantage in being open 24/7. The Health Services Center is open from 8 a.m.to 5 p.m. on weekdays and is closed on weekends. In fact, the Health Services website provides students looking for after-hour care directions to the EGRMC ER.

Most health services at the Health Services Center on campus are covered by the student health fee, included in general student fees to students taking four or more credit hours. Health Services Center also accepts most insurance plans to take care of services not covered by the student health fee. In general, this makes the Health Services Center a more affordable option for students.

Health Services Center also provides emergency care and treatment during their operating hours and has an on-site pharmacy for pick up of prescribed medication. In addition, they work closely with the GSU Counseling and Career Development Center (CDCC) to provide students with long-term mental health care in addition to physical care.

The second option for treatment would be EGRMC. Because the Health Services Center closes at 5 p.m. each day and is closed on weekends, a student looking for immediate treatment will most often find themselves at the EGRMC ER.

EGRMC offers multiple services for their patients and can therefore treat more incidents with the proper medical care. Some of the featured services on their website include an Emergency Medicine Center, a Imaging and Radiology Center, a Heart Care Center and a Women’s Health Center.

A deterrent for students going to the ER at EGRMC is the expense. The hospital will bill individual’s insurance carrier, but the individual will ultimately be responsible for the payment according to the billing and insurance page on EGMC’s website. You will likely have a larger co-pay than you would for a doctor visit, or your ER visit for a nonemergency might not be covered at all.

It seems the most economical choice for a suffering student would be to go to Student Health Services. However, unless you plan to only find yourself in a medical emergency, during weekday working hours, you’ll probably end up being treated by EGRMC, with a smaller wallet to boot.