The state continues with its effort to build a brand new charity hospital in New Orleans to replace the in-the-breach interim facility just west of the building site. This new facility has faced criticism over its size in a market already above the national average in beds per thousand population (about 10 percent higher at 3) and consequent cost. Yet simultaneously the city is building a facility in New Orleans East around the site of the old Methodist Hospital, to be operated by a nonprofit religious organization but governed and funded through the Orleans Parish Hospital Service District A, a state-created entity but a component of New Orleans.
The legal structure of this district intends to operate a hospital as an enterprise, without use of taxpayer funds other than a city payment to run it. To date, its funding has come from grants or in-kind contributions and revenues from opening an urgent care clinic. But the intent is for the creation of a full-service hospital even though it would create even more beds in the New Orleans metropolitan area and with 80 beds ridiculously over-bed New Orleans East at about 10 per thousand. The compelling argument, claims the city, is that no emergency services presently cover in the area without having to go over a major patch of water – six traffic spans to the west to other New Orleans/Jefferson hospitals, two east to the Slidell area, and one south to St. Bernard. Thus, potential bottlenecks exist that could cost lives in an emergency situation.