BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - One Baton Rouge area representative took a long walk and a bus ride across town from Earl K. Long Hospital to the new Woman's Hospital to prove a point.
State Representative Regina Barrow says her trip across town was an eye opening experience.
"I want to see what the everyday person has to experience just to receive the care that they need, especially as it relates to prenatal care," said Rep. Regina Barrow, (D) Baton Rouge.
Barrow started her trip at the bus stop outside Earl K. Long Hospital, heading to the new Woman's Hospital.
After an hour and a half ride on two buses and a mile and a half walk down airline highway, she made it to Woman's two hours after she started. Driving directly there in a car would take between 20 and 30 minutes, depending on traffic.
"I cannot imagine a woman having to walk, pregnant or not pregnant, to get here for a doctor's appointment. It's unimaginable. It's not pedestrian friendly at all," said Barrow.
Hospital staff say they've heard all about how hard the trip can be, from patients and their families.
"A lot of the people that we know walk are family members who are coming to visit someone in the hospital," said Aimee Goforth, a hospital spokesperson. "That's important to women who are in the hospital to have someone come and see them. And the hardship of walking back and forth can be difficult."
Barrow says an easy solution would be a trolley system that would run from the Mall of Louisiana to the hospital. A system, she says, would only cost $10,000-$15,000 per year to operate.
"If we don't invest in this up front, it's going to cost us down the line when you have women who are not getting the proper care...children who are not getting the proper care. At the end of the say you're going to see people showing up in emergency rooms where we're going to pay more for this," said Barrow.
Barrow says her search for funds from private groups as well as the city and even the state will start immediately. She says CATS officials also want to add a bus to the hospital, but because CATS is tied up in litigations right now they are unable to expand routes.