J.P. Hospital Vote Put On Hold

Jefferson Parish council members were expected to vote Wednesday on plans to privatize the parish’s two-hospitals.

They voted instead to crunch the numbers even more.

Either Hospital Corporation of America, Louisiana Children’s Medical Center, or Ochsner Health System will be chosen for a 30-year lease to run Jefferson parish’s hospitals.

But not at this meeting.

Councilman Mark Spears motioned to defer the vote, so the three lease proposals can be independently audited, “This is one of the biggest decisions that this council will make. It’s good to have another set of eyes to review.”

At stake beyond healthcare for most everyone in Jefferson Parish is a deal worth close to $400 million, impacting more than 4,600 hospital workers.

Those who spoke ‘for’ a deferral say a 30-year lease is worth analyzing a few months more.

“We want everyone the opportunity to come back with their best.” Says one speaker.

“This is probably the most important decision this council will ever make,” says another.

The motion to defer the vote passed 4-3.

Council will take up the hospital lease vote again March 19th.

But Parish President John Young says realistically, an independent audit won’t be complete until at least mid-July.

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