Healthcare News & Insights

Five years after Katrina: The state of health care in New Orleans

Despite the many steps forward New Orleans has taken after the devastating hurricane and related flooding, residents’ access to health care services is spotty at best.

In the five years since the disaster, 80% of the city’s population has come back — but the health care system is only at roughly 50% of its former capacity.

Large sections of the city have been without a hospital since the floods, meaning residents dealing with a medical emergency may face a 20+ minute drive to the nearest hospital. In particular, New Orleans East may not see its main health care facility, Methodist Hospital, reopen for another three years.

Those neighborhoods with existing hospitals frequently have to make do with smaller hospitals that offer fewer services.

Plans are in the works to build or renovate several medical facilities. Among them: a $775 million project to replace Training Hospital and the large LSU-VA Hospital in Mid-City.

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