“We went through a lot at East Jefferson, so it’s our hospital, we have all of our doctors there and we’d like to see it continue to give us good medical care,” says Metairie resident Betty Purcell.
Purcell knows the fate of Jefferson Parish’s two public hospitals is in limbo. It’s why she’s sat in on the parishes Ethics and Compliance Commission Meeting where JP’s newly appointed inspector general, David McClintock, is saying his office is going to oversee the decision making process.
“These are not things inspector generals often engage in, but it is perfectly appropriate for us to engage in. This is a large complex deal that is being worked on that is something that the parish does not do and hopefully will not do again in my tenure,” says McClintock.
McClintock says unsubstantiated rumors have come to his attention surrounding the hospital deal. Most meetings involving key players at East Jefferson General Hospital and West Jefferson Medical Center have been behind closed doors. The group is trying to pick one of three entities to run and lease their hospitals for the next 30 years.
The three vying for the deal Ochsner, Louisiana Children’s Medical Center and the only for-profit company is Nashville based Hospital Corporation of America.
“We do not operate off of rumors. I have zero information at this point in time to indicate that there has been any wrong doing in this process to date,” says McClintock.
“This process should be as open and transparent as possible, and I’ll tell you now I’m in favor of them holding any votes in the open and in public,” says Jefferson Parish President John Young.
With the parish’s corrupt past Young is behind McClintock’s involvement, both agreeing the deal is too big to keep behind closed doors.