Healthcare and Training
After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Charity Hospital in New Orleans closed, cutting off much-needed care to the poorest of our state. This closing should save us money, but it does not, as these patients and the attendant costs show up in emergency rooms and drive up the price tag for everyone.
Charity's closure created a shortage of medical training facilities. More significantly, the closure resulted in a shortage of personnel to operate facilities, even if we replaced the lost facilities, because so many medical professionals left the state and did not return. Presently, hospital training facilities in New Orleans are severely reduced, which means young physicians in this part of the state do not have the opportunity to train at an optimal level. Our extraordinary training programs must be returned to their previous caliber.
I support options that explore cost-effective ways to integrate public and private medical institutions where practical. Health care for the poor must be delivered in an efficient and streamlined manner, and it must preserve the dignity of those being treated. These goals are interconnected and will serve us all.