St. Martinville – Voters in Hospital District No. 2, the Breaux Bridge area, will be asked on the Oct. 4 ballot to sign off on a deal to lease St. Martin Hospital to Lafayette General Medical Center.
It is being proposed to voters in the narrow district whose tax supports the hospital, but, according to former administrator Burton Dupuis, it’s a good deal for the whole parish.
“This will save the hospital,” Dupuis told the Parish Council last week.
It will also save taxpayers in the district a total of around $540,000 a year. While assuming operation of the hospital, keeping on current employees, Lafayette General will retire the district’s debt.
The council acted to place the issue on the Oct. 4 ballot at no extra cost to taxpayers.
The parish hospital, which is already affiliated with Lafayette General, will benefit from the larger hospital’s specialists.
“Our relationship has been very good, excellent,” Dupuis said.
He said when Lafayette General agreed to lease 12 beds from the then-Gary Memorial in 1995, it saved the small community hospital from closing its doors like so many other rural health care facilities around the country.
St. Martin Hospital has managed to survive by providing basic health care in high volume, Dupuis said. But its continued viability is threatened without further assistance.
The Hospital Service District No. 2 Board of Commissioners will remain intact to manage the financial obligations of the district.
Dupuis, who has retired as administrator of the hospital, agreed to tour the parish on behalf of the council, explaining the proposed arrangement with Lafayette General.