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Ashley Rodrigue / Eyewitness News
Email: arodrigue@wwltv.com | Twitter: @ashleyrwwl

BOGALUSA, La. - Four LSU hospitals are under new private management now. It's all part of Gov. Bobby Jindal's push to privatize the university-run hospitals and clinics.

Monday, LSU facilities in New Orleans, Lafayette, Houma and Lake Charles were turned over to private managers. But on the Northshore, one of those public-private partnerships is still being sorted out.

At Bogalusa Medical Center, bringing up babies and up-and-coming doctors is a priority. People in the community say they're glad it looks like those two programs, and more will be protected by a new public-private partnership for the LSU hospital there.

'We have to have it. It's necessary,' said Terry Quinn, 'The way they're going to do it, it's probably the only choice we have right now.'

'Those two are just real critical for our hospital, and I think Our Lady of the Lake sees the potential there,' said state Rep. Harold Ritchie, D-Bogalusa.

A cooperative endeavor agreement, approved last week with the Franciscan Missionaries of our Lady Health System, aims to keep services in tact despite federal cuts to Medicaid money.

'They're glad we have a partner so we have a future and everything, so I'm pleased with the community reaction I've heard so far,' Ritchie said.

But area leaders are unsure about a lot of other things, including the hopes of revamping the emergency room and the cost of it all, because the deal is still in the works.

'I know they think this is going to be less costly than what we were doing, I'm hoping it will be. If not, I'm hoping we just go ahead and fund it,' Ritchie said.

Any deal made for this hospital will involve a transition from public to private beginning in January. There's no timeline on when the deal will be finalized, but an update is expected at the Board of Supervisor's meeting next month.

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