Chancellors of two LSU Health Sciences Centers delivered impassioned testimonies in front of the Senate Finance Committee, calling on legislators not to pass the proposed budget apporved by the House Appropriations Committee that they say would devastate healthcare. Shreveport Chancellor G.E. Ghalli says the proposed cuts are impossible to make.
“What do I cut? Everything is important, the burn unit is important, the cancer center is important, the level one trauma center is important. Jesus, tell me what I’m supposed to cut!”
The budget will be discussed on the House floor Thursday.
New Orleans Chancellor Larry Hollier says the proposed spending plan cuts funding for the five statewide residency programs by 43 percent. He says those programs provide crucial services to the most vulnerable paitents.
“It’s the care of over a million patients that we deal with. I don’t think even a 50% reduction in our teaching hospitals would allow us to care for the patients that we need to take care of.”
Both Chancellors called on the legislature to not pass a budget until the 648 million dollar fiscal cliff, which is the result of expiring revenue in July, is potentially replaced in a possible special session.
Hollier says this budget, heading to the House floor, would result in a mass exodus of medical professionals from the state, and the devastation of the residency program.
“It’s a loss of 250 residents, out of our 800. That’s a massive reduction in workforce.”
House Appropriations Chairman Cameron Henry, who’s in favor of the proposed budget, released a statement saying “We’re trying to pass a responsible budget with the dollars we have available.”