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Public uneasy with purchase

ALBANY, Ga. -- Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital's $195 million acquisition of Palmyra Medical Center was greeted with surprise and outrage by Albanians randomly asked their opinions of the takeover.

Of the 13 people asked by The Herald for comment Wednesday, none was happy when asked his or her reaction to Phoebe's acquisition of Palmyra.

Among the replies:

"Great, now the wait in the ER will be even longer. I don't like Phoebe, the real estate company. Where's the heart? It's all about the money."

-- Claudia McDaniel, Albany

"It's a damn monopoly, and probably not good for Dougherty County. At least before they had some competition. I don't think this will do one good thing for Albany."

-- Zeke Paramore, Albany

"I think it's disgusting. I don't understand how we can allow an entity like Phoebe to build an empire and get such a stranglehold on our health care."

-- Ray Yelverton, Albany

"I think Phoebe owns enough. How much more do they need? I hate it, I really do. If my kids or I need to go to the hospital, we go to Palmyra."

-- Kathy Newton, Albany

"If Phoebe can come up with that kind of cash, then they can contribute some of it to the community. I understand they give back in the form of indigent health care, but if they have that much money on hand, they can do more for Albany."

-- Woman who declined to give her name, Albany

"I don't have a reaction to it (the acquisition). I do, however, feel there might some anti-trust violations at work here. Competition always makes things better."

-- Man who declined to give his name, Albany

"This is a bad thing because now we'll have no choice in regard to health care. The monopoly worries me. They did the same thing to Sumter Regional. I also worry about how this will affect businesses, because there is a correlation between health care and business coming into an area."

-- Felicia Thomas, Albany

"I don't like it. This is a monopoly, and now we won't have a choice in regard to health care."

-- Shaquanah Miller, Albany

"It's a bad thing because now we have a monopoly with no competition. Health care costs will probably rise because guess who will now control the delivery of all services?"

-- Woman who declined to give her name, Albany

"Oh, Phoebe is now a big, big monopoly. This is bad for Albany and Southwest Georgia in general. Now they can demand any price for services because of a lack of competition."

-- John Levie, Albany.

"I think this might be a bad idea. The lack of competition might cause trouble. Plus, Phoebe is always crowded. At Palmyra you can usually get in and get out quickly."

-- Lynsandra Grier, Albany

"This acquisition is probably not a good idea. At least before they had some competition. I don't think this will be a good thing for Albany."

-- Jimmy Moore, Albany

"I really think this is bad. The prices will rise because now there is no competition in health care."

-- Serless West, Albany