Huey P. Long Privatization - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Huey P. Long Privatization

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PINEVILLE, La. (KALB News Channel 5)-- The privatization deal for Huey P. Long medical center is in the final stages – and is on the way to Governor Jindal’s desk. News Channel Five's Steven Maxwell asked Cenla residents what they think about the closure.
  
The Louisiana House gave passage to final legislation that closes the doors to state run Huey P. Long Medical Center as part of a privatization deal.
 
The resolution transfers Huey P. Long's services to Rapides Regional Medical Center and Christus St. Frances Cabrini hospital as well as outpatient clinics run by the two Alexandria hospitals. But this bill is leaving some in the community concerned.
  
"It Served many of our Cenla people and beyond that," said Deborah Doguillot, Cenla Resident. "I think it is advantageous to keep it
open. I think that these people who cannot go to the doctor, cannot afford insurance, what happens to them."
 
Retired dietician Helen Moore worked at Huey P. Long for 27 years, and she says the privatization is unnecessary.
  
"I think it is the most unfortunate thing," said Helen Moore, with the Enough is Enough Coalition. "You know there is an old saying, If it is not broke don't fix it. The hospital system in this state was not broke."
 
However, one hospital official tells us the transition is going smoothly. 
  
"More and more patients from across Pineville, Alexandria and neighboring communities are getting their medical needs met with the Christus and Rapides HPL clinics," said John Dailey, Huey P. Long Interim Administrator. "Things are going very well with the transition. Over 4,000 patients have requested their medical records to be transferred to these new clinics."
 
This is Governor Bobby Jindal's ninth privatization deal for state owned hospitals. Those in favor say it will provide more efficient and modern care, but opponents are concerned about rising costs and the needy.
 
"I am very sad, I am very angry as you can tell," said Moore. "I am very disappointed in most of our elected officials."
  
Hospital officials tell us closure is expected in four to six weeks.


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