Can We Save Charity Hospital?

Really the question is, can we win health care for all in Louisiana? Since Katrina LSU, the private hospitals, and certain New Orleans city officials have purposefully worked to prevent the reopening of Charity. They hope to build what's now being called the Taj-Mahospital in Mid-City. It'll be more profitable for them, in addition to being new, shiny, loaded with hundreds of millions of federal dollars that they hope will anchor a biosciences economy around the downtown. Besides being a pipe dream, their actions so far have led to an enormous level of suffering, morbidity, and death among Southern Louisiana's uninsured and poor. They couldn't have pursued a worse course of action.

Organizers with the Committee to Reopen Charity Hospital have just begun circulating a recent criticism of LSU and state leaders by none other than LTG Russel L. Honore. Writing in the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, Honore explains that;

"Katrina was not the only catastrophe for the poor of New Orleans. The event has been used as an opportunity to close the doors of Charity Hospital, which since 1736, maintained a mission of treating the indigent and educating healthcare professionals. As the region’s only Level 1 trauma center and major center for research, 75% of medical professionals in Louisiana were trained at Charity.5 We have embarrassing rates of health disparities in the nation. Can we afford to reduce the availability of healthcare services to those who need it the most while policy makers debate payment structures? Does this policy debate over payment for services justify delays in improving the health of our nation, which in turn would facilitate a movement for being better prepared for disasters? Would elevating health disparities as a risk to national security expedite eliminating this problem?"

The Committe to Reopen Charity's next public event is a Press Conference on Thursday February 12, 4:00pm to 5:00pm, in front of the New Orleans’ Rev. Avery C. Alexander Charity Hospital 1532 Tulane Avenue.

There's also a forum on Charity happening in the evening of the 9th. Check out the flyer below.

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