POSTED: Wednesday, April 10, 2013 - 4:30pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, April 10, 2013 - 5:41pm
Baton Rouge, La (NBC33) — Voices and questions were raised at today's joint budget committee hearing. The discussion: the closure of Earl K. Long and the shift of its business to Our Lady of the Lake.
Many in attendance felt that shift feel is moving too fast.
"We're very concerned about the access to care,” stated State Senator Sharon Broome. “We really did not have any alternatives. People are being laid off, services are being transferred and on Monday, we start a new model. So while questions remain, we really didn't have a whole lot of alternatives."
Representatives from Our Lady of the Lake and DHH said though the move is fast, they feel prepared.
"I think we've done about as good of a job as we possibly could,” said OLOL CEO Scott Wester. “Still, we know on Monday that there are going to be a lot of questions that people still have."
Both sides agree on some points though - educating the public about the new healthcare situation and making sure former EKL patients have a place to go for their healthcare needs.
"Our goal now, since Earl K Long will be closing on April 15, is to make sure that the community gets information on the clinics that will be throughout the community,” said Broome. “Specifically the clinic that is located on Airline Highway, not far from Earl K Long Hospital."
Wester stated, "We've done, I think, a relatively good job of communicating across the community to all the changes that will be occurring on this next Monday."
The original close date for EKL was November of this year; it has since been moved up to April 15.