Paul Murphy / Eyewitness News
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JEFFERSON, La. -- There are some new developments in the ongoing effort to pick a private partner to run Jefferson Parish's two public hospitals.

The consultant hired to whittle down the list of finalists came back with a split decision and now there is a move by some Jefferson Parish Council Members to vote in favor of letting East and West Jefferson hospitals go their separate ways.

It has been a long road for both the two hospital management boards, and now the Jefferson Parish Council, as they attempt to arrive at a path forward for East Jefferson Hospital and West Jefferson Medical Center.

Wednesday night, council members received 22 pages of written responses from the parish hospital consultant, Kaufman Hall.

Council members have been trying to get the firm to make a final selection on which company should lease and run the public hospitals for the next 30 years.

West Jefferson Medical Center wants Louisiana Children's Medical Center, while the East Jefferson Hospital prefers Hospital Corporation of America.

Kaufman Hall now says that since there are serious differences of opinion by the boards, the hospitals should pursue separate partners.

Council Chairman Chris Roberts is now polling members to see if a meeting should be called and a final vote taken on the matter. But some members, including Cythia Lee Sheng would still like to ask Kaufman Hall questions in a public forum, before awarding the contract.

'I think it would be premature to vote on this matter before the proper parties have weighed in, being the paid expert, Kaufman Hall as well as I think it would be premature to vote on something before the inspector general has been allowed to weigh in and that report is still in the works,' said Sheng.

WWL-TV will have more details coming up in the Eyewitness Evening News.

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