Medical Mess

Thursday, January 29, 2009 - 6:00pm

First, bad checks for workers, now, bad news for patients at River West Hospital. The medical center temporarily shut down Thursday. Hospital officials moved most patients out of the Plaquemine facility.

The hospital’s CEO says the hospital is not shutting down, but the staff didn’t show up last night after paychecks bounced. Therefore, many of the patients had to transfer to other hospitals Thursday to get the care they needed. The emergency is currently open and hospital administrators are working on a staffing plan to make sure the hospital can start admitting patients again Friday.

The hospital received $150,000 from DHH and the stipulation with that cash is the hospital must come up with a sustainability plan to stay open.

Plaquemine residents are hopeful the hospital will stay open. Roxanne Davis says, “My mother, she’s very sick and if they close the hospital we’re gonna have to travel to Baton Rouge, which at times is not very convenient, especially when they are sick and not just a little illness.”

Thursday, all the employees who got bad checks got new checks and only one patient is left at the hospital, others were moved after employees didn’t show up for work Wednesday night. The hospital hopes to be fully functional again Friday. DHH officials are meeting with hospital administrators either Friday or Monday to make sure the hospital stays open. We’ll continue to track this story.