I feel a need to remind the residents of Louisiana of the treasure we’re about to forfeit in the name of politics and political ambition. No one has ever seen a valid argument for the destruction of our state hospital system, because none exists. There is no documentation of how transferring operation of our hospitals to private enterprise will save the state any money or be of any benefit to Louisiana’s citizens.

Our public hospital system has a history that begins 277 years ago in March 1736 when French seaman/boat builder Jean Louis donated money to build L’ Hospital de Charite de St. Louis (Charity Hospital of New Orleans).

The following information comes from LSU Health Care Services Division:

“The Health Care Services Division of LSU Health is one of the largest public health-care delivery systems in the country. It has over 33,000 inpatient admissions, 172,000 inpatient days, 583,000 outpatient clinic visits, 1,118,000 outpatient encounters and 269,000 emergency department encounters. Each year, more than 1,200 residents and fellows from the LSU and Tulane Schools of Medicine and Ochsner Health System and 2,900 nursing and allied health students from many colleges and universities are trained in LSU HCSD facilities.

Mission-driven to care for the uninsured and provide training opportunities for future health professionals, LSU HCSD is a statewide safety net system in which everyone is eligible for care.

“LSU hospitals, in providing the majority of care to the uninsured patients in the state, support other community facilities by protecting them from a greater share of uncompensated care.”

It’s a travesty that we can allow politics to dictate pulling the plug on our historic hospital system that for 277 years has faithfully and effectively served Louisiana in caring for her indigent and in training her physicians and other health-care professionals. I would encourage every Louisiana citizen to call the governor and their legislators and demand that our hospitals be spared — today!

Rene’ Rowell Torregrossa

medical technologist

Baton Rouge