Civil Service panel approves hospital outsourcing
BATON ROUGE - The state's Civil Service Commission has approved a Jindal administration plan to outsource the health care services currently provided by LSU's public hospital in Baton Rouge.
The 4-2 vote by the commission Tuesday paves the way for 777 employee layoffs at Earl K. Long Medical Center. The public hospital will be shuttered in two weeks and most of its services transferred to a private Baton Rouge hospital.
Peggy Stemans has worked at the hospital for 30 years. She was at the commission meeting Tuesday, fighting for her job.
"It's an emotional time for me because it's very sad. I guess the patients the doctors, my co-workers. It's just a great atmosphere I don't think that culture can exist anywhere else," said Stemans.
The closure of Earl K. Long will save the state millions of dollars.
"Unfortunately its an old facility that was having trouble meeting standards. The state is facing rough economical times and we need to have a model to sustain the care for our community," said Dr. Michael Kaiser.
Laid off workers can reapply for their jobs with Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, which will be picking up much of the care for the poor and uninsured previously provided by Earl K. Long.
Civil Service Commission approval came despite complaints that the hospital closure was moving too quickly, with too little data to support the Jindal administration's savings estimates.
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