In a letter to the editor responding to James Gill's passionate criticism of LSU's entrenched stance in the debate over whether to restore Charity Hospital, Tulane President Scott Cowen asks the following questions:
-- Given the current health care reform movement, do we remain comfortable that the proposed hospital meets the medical needs of our wider community and its citizens, especially those who are under- or uninsured?
-- Do we have sufficient funds to build and operate the hospital without it being a drain on the state's future resources, especially in these economic times?
-- How can any new facility best meet the educational, research and clinical care needs of the institutions that rely on it to support and advance their academic missions? Some of these institutions include Xavier, LSU, Dillard and Tulane.
-- Given the importance and wide impact of this hospital to our community, who should own, govern and manage it to ensure that the proposed facility meets the needs of its various stakeholders while being operated in the most cost effective, efficient and transparent manner?
These are the issues that have been flagged at every turn by proponents of Charity. It is about time that LSU, the GNOBEDD, and the DDD be forced to provide legitimate answers. There has not been one public hearing in Orleans Parish on the matter. Not one. Not in front of the City Council. Not in front of the City Planning Commission.
Goody Clancy, the firm that just released a master plan draft online, was told not to evaluate the GNOBEDD or the LSU/VA footprint.
But it is clear as you're browsing the draft plan, that the issue of Charity Hospital was simply unavoidable. The public health challenges examined by Goody Clancy clearly underscore Mr. Cowen's first question above. Check out Chapter 9 on Health and Human Services (pdf)
And more still:
Given the distubing public health crisis, why are we so convinced that the LSU/VA complex is the way to go when there's another proposal on the table promises the same first rate medical care without nearly the same wait. LSU does not have the funding to proceed with their plan but they've blocked any and all attempts to evaluate it side-by-side with the alternative from RMHM Hillier. It could take another decade if we continue to subject our health care emergencies to their incompetent guidance.