Louisville mayor says more details are needed before finalizing proposed hospital merger

12/28/2011 11:09 AM

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer is certain on two things concerning a proposed merger of three different hospital systems in his city: first, University Hospital is a public identity and second, more details need to come out before he believes Gov. Steve Beshear will approve the merger.

University Hospital, which is run by the University of Louisville, Jewish St. Mary’s Healthcare and Catholic Health Initiatives are proposing a statewide merger of their hospitals but have seen significant criticism when it comes to including University Hospital.

That’s because that hospital is the place where many of the urban city’s indigent go for care. And also because Catholic Health Initiatives would be the controlling partner in the merger, leading many to question the use of religious directives for beginning and end of life decisions.

Fischer told Pure Politics he believes in the merger, but the public needs more details.

“But the public can’t just get a ‘trust us it’ll be OK,” Fischer said. “It needs to be here’s the $200 million dollars we’re getting and here’s how it needs to be spent…”

Fischer also said the issue of ending certain procedures at University Hospital because of Catholic directives isn’t a big deal because not all hospitals provide all surgeries anyway.

Beshear will ultimately decide on whether or not to approve the merger, which would affect hospitals in Louisville and Lexington.

Fischer also touched on issues regarding the renewal of a franchise agreement with Insight Communications, the parent company of cn|2 and the future of Occupy Louisville’s tent city in downtown Louisville.


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