LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The wait at Moss Regional Hospital may get longer in the coming months due to budget cuts in the LSU public hospital system.
The LSU public hospital system is cutting $29 million from the budget in the coming months, and local patients at Moss Regional Hospital are not pleased.
The LSU public hospital system is blaming the Bobby Jindal administration for the large budget deductions being made in the next few months. All seven of its charity hospitals statewide, including Moss Regional, are on the chopping block. The news is leaving patients scared and confused.
"I know they've been cutting back and everything, and it's sad," said patient Tim Courvelle. "It upsets me, because I come to this hospital and I appreciate the people that work here. I know they work hard. They're nice people, and they're doing their job trying to help us. And it's just sad that people can't get help anymore. It's a shame. It's a crying shame.
Dr. Fred Cerise with the LSU system says they were expecting federal funding to help fill the budget gaps, but it fell through, meaning changes are imminent.
"We have to eliminate some services, some beds, certainly we have to eliminate some positions to get that kind of reduction out of the system in the next four months," said Cerise.
With clues that the budget cuts were imminent, all seven hospitals were making changes.
"Everybody's been doing things like holding vacant positions open," said Cerise. "We're seeing things like an increase in wait times and things like that now. That naturally happens when we don't feel positions. The specific results of a significant reduction like we're talking about now would be seen sometime in March."
Patient Sara Ezell knows the coming cuts will affect overall patient care.
"If they start taking away funding, they're not going to be able to give you the medicine that you need to get better, they're not going to have the employees to take care of the people that are sick and the quality of care is just going to drop down even worse," said Ezell.
The fiscal year for the LSU public hospital system ends June 30 and all of the budget issues must be solved before then.