Commentary: A long wait for N.O. East hospital

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wwltv.com

Posted on August 16, 2011 at 6:29 PM

Updated Tuesday, Aug 16 at 6:42 PM

Business has been brisk at the recently opened urgent care center in eastern New Orleans. That’s the subject of Clancy’s Commentary this week, by Eyewitness News Political Analyst and Gambit Columnist Clancy DuBos.

Clancy DuBos / Eyewitness News Political Analyst

NEW ORLEANS -- The sixth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina is less than two weeks away. After the first five years, some might say the annual milestone has lost some of its significance.

For the 60,000 people living in eastern New Orleans, every day marks another day without a full-service hospital in their part of town.

Politicians and power brokers are fighting over who controls the fate of Methodist Hospital, which served eastern New Orleans before Katrina. Meanwhile, there is a ray of hope: an urgent care center recently opened on the old Methodist campus. The facility saw nearly 200 patients in its first full week of operation.

That’s about three times what city officials were expecting.

And that underscores the need for a full-service hospital in The East.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu promises to have that hospital by the end of 2013. That will be more than 8 years after Katrina, and that’s a long time to wait.

All of which reminds us that every Katrina anniversary is an important milestone. Each one reminds us of how far we’ve come -- and how far we still have to go.

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