Cameron officials working to resume medical services in parish

Published: Mar. 29, 2023 at 9:43 PM CDT
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Cameron, LA (KPLC) - Parish officials address concerns about the vacant South Cameron Memorial Hospital, assuring work is being done behind the scenes.

“Hurricane Laura destroyed the hospital facility,” Cameron District Attorney Tom Barrett said. “The hospital board is working on trying to get it rebuilt.”

The hospital is completely gutted. After two and a half years without emergency services, residents in the area are wondering what are the next steps.

“The previous board members made a decision to try to repair the hospital instead of rebuilding it, and it was later decided it just wasn’t feasible,” Barrett said.

Barrett explains to 7News, that decision greatly affected the process. The hospital board now has several sets of new eyes who decided rebuilding the facility was the better option. In addition to rebuilding, the hospital’s operating company since 2014 abruptly resigned.

“This board is left to pick up the pieces and move forward, and they’re doing that,” Barrett said.

The operating company was running out of a temporary tent where limited services were offered prior to terminating their contract. Currently, no medical services are being offered in Cameron Parish.

The board plans to ask the police jury for a temporary facility to offer medical services with additional plans to offer emergency services until the new hospital is completed.

“If the police jury approves that, it would six to eight months for that building to be repaired and available to provide medical services to South Cameron,” Barrett said.

As of Wednesday’s regular board meeting, members voted to hire an architect. Barrett said the project should start to pick up from here on out.

The new hospital will be built to better withstand hurricanes and at a higher elevation. Barrett said it’s expected to be completed in 2025.