New Orleans Activists Call For Charity Hospital To Be Reopened

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New Orleans activists on Monday called on Louisiana State Universityto reopen Charity Hospital, which closed after Hurricane Katrina,saying the city needs more health services available to uninsuredresidents, the New Orleans Times-Picayunereports. The activists, from several local civil advocacy groups, saidthat major parts of the hospital are in good condition and could bereopened. LSU, which ran the hospital, said it would be irresponsibleto spend money to fix the outmoded facility, the Times-Picayune reports. The university plans to replace the facility with a new hospital in 2012.

Marty Rowland of the Gulf Coast Civic Works Projectsaid, "You can't wait five to seven years for the new hospital. It's asif they're telling people to hold their breath. People are sick now."In addition, a member of the Committee to Reopen Charity Hospital saidthe city faces an extreme shortage of mental health services.
BrobsonLutz, a New Orleans public health specialist, said he believes parts ofCharity could be reopened, including the pathology lab, private patientrooms, the emergency department and psychiatric beds. However, he addedthat the new hospital should not follow the same model of carepreviously provided at Charity and that a decentralized network ofclinics would better serve the city (Waller, New Orleans Times-Picayune, 9/4).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. Youcan view the entire Kaiser DailyHealth Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email deliveryat kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, afree service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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