$4 million of EKL medical equipment missing
BATON ROUGE - More than $4 million of medical equipment is missing from the old Earl K. Long hospital in North Baton Rouge, according to a state audit.
EKL shut it's doors in 2013, and some of its equipment was sent to Our Lady of the Lake Hospital in East Baton Rouge. The remaining equipment was put in storage, but now 79 percent of the unwanted state property cannot be found.
Louisiana State University is responsible for tracking the equipment. Officials say their job was difficult from the beginning because the EKL workers were laid off before they could be consulted about the locations of the all medical equipment.
"When all your employees walk out the door the same day the hospital closes, its a lot more difficult because you're dealing with equipment where you have no idea where it is, and now you have to go find it," said Jerry Jones with LSU.
LSU officials say a small team of state employees recorded and stored all the hospital's equipment. They often worked for free because state money was not budgeted for the task.
Officials added, before worrying about storing the equipment, they first collected all the drugs, medical records, and hazardous materials inside the hospital.
Jones says much the missing equipment is most likely being stored at a number of LSU outpatient clinics around Baton Rouge. He added some of the equipment has been found and he expects to find more, but not all of it.