Lafayette

Jul 30, 2012 7:02 PM by Jenise Fernandez

LSU Hospitals Facing Cuts, UMC Fared Better Than Expected

Cuts to LSU hospitals around the state starting today. LSU health officials laid out a plan friday to cut $50 million from public hospitals and clinics. Cutting back in areas like faculty recruitment for training, doctors taking less money, and delaying equipment purchases. This after state lawmakers stripped $329 million from the LSU health system. The cuts total $523 million for the state's health care system, handed down by Governor Bobby Jindal's administration. Of that, two-thirds falls on the LSU health care system.

University Medical Center fared better than expected. Interim hospital administrator Glenn Craig says it's a relief considering the harsh cuts UMC dealt with earlier this year.

"The biggest message we're sending is we're still here providing the care patients have come to expect," said Craig.

Craig says UMC isn't expected to cut anymore services. In March, UMC closed its obstetric and pediatric services, substance abuse medical program and its inpatient psychiatric unit. It's because of those cuts five months ago that the blow is softened this time around.

"We do what we can with the hand that's dealt. It's one of those things where we don't know what additional cuts might be in the future," said Craig.

Even though UMC got lucky this time around, hospital personnel and patients are still feeling the effects of those previous cuts.

"Unfortunately, it has been difficult .Secondary to these cuts, we have lost many personnel," said Dr. Ali Sadeghi.

Dr. Sadeghi says the lack of personnel means patients waiting longer to get the care they need and not enough manpower to handle the amount of patients.

"The patients are suffering the most. So our patients are waiting a long time and aren't being taken care of in a reasonable amount of time, " he added.

The LSU hospitals in Lake Charles and Tangipahoa Parish are taking the heaviest cuts. In Lake Charles, inpatient surgery services and ICU care will be reduced. In Tangipahoa, the cuts are made to cardiology and surgery services, infectious disease treatment, and ICU.

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