Covering Louisiana

Apr 10, 2013 1:56 PM by AP/PHOTO COURTESY OF MGN ONLINE

LSU public hospital in Baton Rouge to close Monday

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Lawmakers have granted the final approval needed to close the doors next week on LSU's public hospital in Baton Rouge, Earl K. Long Medical Center.

The joint House and Senate budget committee agreed without objection Wednesday to adjustments to the state's agreement to shift most of Earl K. Long's services for the poor and uninsured to a private Baton Rouge hospital on Monday.

The LSU-run hospital's more than 770 employees will be laid off and can reapply for their jobs with Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center.

Baton Rouge area lawmakers criticized the plan as having gaps in care for pregnant women, prisoners and mental health services. But Sen. Sharon Broome of Baton Rouge says there was no way to stop closure because layoffs were already approved.

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