Staff and patients fight planned closure of Earl K. Long Hospita - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Staff and patients fight planned closure of Earl K. Long Hospital

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BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

The LSU Board of Supervisors is expected to approve plans Monday morning to close Earl K. Long Hospital, but staff and patients are not giving in without a fight.

The protest comes after Gov. Bobby Jindal announced the closing of EKL next month. Patients and some services would be moved to Our Lady of the Lake.

The governor said the move will save the state $39 million a year, at the cost of 340 jobs.

State Rep. Regina Barrow said the move isn't fair to the people who depend on the charity hospital.

"What's going to end up happening is that more patients will end up in the ER because they are going to wait until they are in a desperate situation and they need emergency or critical care and they will end up in the ER," Barrow explained.

If the LSU board approves the changes, Earl K. Long would close on April 15. The governor has said 90 percent of laid-off employees should be able to find jobs in the private sector.

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