Mid-South's Regional Trauma Center Asking for $12 Million in Funding

FEBRUARY 22, 2007 - Posted at 3:15 p.m. CST

MEMPHIS, TN - The interim CEO of the big public hospital in Memphis wants state legislators to seek more money to operate it.

The Regional Medical Center, usually called "the Med," needs $12 million more in public funding.

CEO Elizabeth Ostric told state lawmakers from Shelby County the Med provides $62 million more in health care to uninsured people than is covered by federal, state and local governments.

County Mayor A.C. Wharton wrote to Governor Bredesen earlier, asking for an additional $12 million from funds allocated to the state by Congress late last year.

The Med has the Mid-South's only Level One trauma center and burn center.

It also gets a disproportionate number of uninsured patients who can't pay for their care.

Arkansas gives the hospital about $1 million per year to compensate for its residents' use of it.  Mississippi has contributed $8 million to $10 million per year, but is proposing only $3 million this year.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)