PLAQUEMINE — Iberville Parish government and Ochsner Health System agreed Wednesday to a 30-day extension needed to work out details necessary to provide emergency care in the Plaquemine area, Parish President Mitch Ourso said.
The two sides initially signed a nonbinding letter of intent in March to build an emergency-care facility for urgent and outpatient services.
That letter of intent was valid through May 31, but Ourso said the two parties will need until June 30 to work out some of the specifics.
In the meantime, Ourso said, Ochsner and the parish expect to come to agreement on the size of the proposed facility, the scope of services it would offer and the number of employees.
When those details are agreed upon, Ourso said, the two sides plan to sign a “mutually acceptable, binding” agreement.
“We have worked very hard to get a strong medical provider interested in coming to Iberville,” Ourso said. “The negotiations on this partnership are proceeding well, but are very complicated and take time.”
Initial plans call for the parish to build the facility and then lease it to Ochsner Health System Baton Rouge Region, Ourso said.
Ochsner would provide the health-care services and be solely responsible for the facility’s medical and financial operations, he said.
Ourso has maintained the new facility would not be a full-service hospital, but rather, a place where Iberville residents could go for emergency care and related services.
The parish has been without a public hospital since financially insolvent River West Medical Center closed in early 2009.