Governor John Bel Edwards pledged to reopen a Mid City Baton Rouge emergency room during the state's first-ever statewide health summit.
The summit was held at the Pennington Biomedical Center Tuesday. Prior to the Governor's speech, retired Lt. General Russel Honore made impassioned remarks about the need for better health care for North Baton Rouge.
Gov. Edwards then addressed those concerns in saying that the Medicaid expansion to take effect on July 1 could help open the shuttered doors of the Mid City emergency room along with the recently announced partnership between Baton Rouge General Health System and Ochsner health System.
"I have asked them as they do that to explore the possibility of reopening that emergency room at the MidCity campus. I believe that the Medicaid expansion affords them an opportunity to do that," he said. "They will have many fewer people accessing services in an emergency room without reimbursement associated with that, so I think the business model is different now. I've asked them to look at that, and certainly if that doesn't happen we're going to find some other way, but in the short-term that's the best avenue that we have."
The plan is in the early stages, Edwards noted.
"At this point, we have no plans to change course at Mid City," says Mark Slyter, President and CEO of Baton Rouge General. "We have put together a sustainable plan that addresses community needs - and we're caring for patients every day."
Watch WAFB 9 News at 10 p.m. to learn more about plans for the Mid City emergency room.