Thursday, February 28, 2013

EJ, West Jeff Hospitals Could Be Privatized Without Any Public Input Under Plan Touted By Sheriff Normand

East Jefferson General Hospital and West Jefferson Medical Center, Jefferson Parish’s two publicly-owned hospitals, could be leased to a private partnership without any public input or a vote under a plan that is being promoted by Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand. Normand is also the Chairman of the EJGH Board.

The two hospitals were built with public money, however they have operated independently and have not needed additional Parish support to continue operating.
Normand doesn’t want a public vote claiming that a vote could weaken the Hospitals bargaining positions.

A vote would also face significant public criticism and likely defeat.
Normand is seeking a state legislator to change a 2001 law that applies only to EJGH and West Jeff. The law, Louisiana Revised Statute 49.1064.2 states, “The hospital service district shall sell or lease the hospital only if the proposed sale or lease is approved by a majority of the qualified electors of the hospital service district voting on the proposition at an election held for that purpose and conducted in accordance with the Louisiana Election Code.”

The Jefferson Parish Council voted Wednesday to approve a resolution asking local legislators to “amend and/or revise LA R.S. 46.1064.2” without disclosing publicly what the Revised Statute said or the need for its amendment or revision.
NOLA.com provides more details here.


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