The one facility that nearly all cities need is still not available in East New Orleans: a hospital.
The city was all cheers around this time last year when the city purchased the abandoned Methodist Hospital for $16 million, but one year later and nearly six years after Hurricane Katrina, the building still has not been touched.
On Tuesday, members of the hospital services district in New Orleans said that an urgent care clinic would open within 30 days on-site at the hospital, but not the hospital itself, reports a local station.
Our question at BET.com: How is a clinic supposed to support a whole city? There’s no denying that the hospital is overdue, and residents' frustration is clear also.
"As a health care worker, I'm concerned about my neighbors," Carmen Eugene, an area nurse expressed at a city council meeting.
Yet, it seems as if Eugene is not preaching to the crowd. The Councilman who represents New Orleans East, Jon Johnson, agrees.
"We need a hospital. We need a hospital, not just an emergency room, not just an urgent care, not just a clinic—a hospital. That's what I think the people in the community want. That is what I think we need to put our limited resources towards: opening a hospital—a full service, 80-bed, comprehensive hospital in New Orleans East," he said at the meeting.
The problem? Money. New Orleans needs $30 million from the state to add to the current funds to repair the hospital.
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said the hospital reopening is a major priority.
Let’s hope that he can put his money where his mouth is.
(Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)