"Mayor Mitch Landrieu said the region can't afford to slow down a project that could create between 12,000 and 17,000 jobs."
First, where is that 17,000 figure coming from? I have not heard anything close to that before - although I have heard the BioDistrict toss around inflated pie-in-the-sky numbers like that for construction jobs that would ostensibly be created by the 1,500-acre GNOBEDD. That's a much different thing than the UMC hospital, however, and it's disturbing that the Mayor either doesn't understand that distinction or....
Second, why is it that thousands of jobs would somehow not be created if the facility opened in a revamped, state-of-the-art facility in Charity Hospital? It's the same tired fallacy rearing its head once more - the notion that going back into Charity will somehow not produce jobs or economic development. Say it over and over again often enough and people will start to believe it. It's not at all true, though.
"I would just encourage people to move forward very aggressively. We are five years down the road. This is probably the biggest economic development project that the state has seen," said Landrieu.
Once again, it seems the Mayor cares far more about short term economic development - the dollar signs hanging in front of everyone's eyes - than about healthcare and doing what's sustainable fiscally in the longer run. It's Houston-envy taking over. The whole reason we're now in this crisis mode on the UMC is precisely because the state, the LSU administration, and city officials have been moving forward aggressively for years without doing the basic things that should attend development of a major project like a hospital complex.
As a friend noted in response to the story linked above: "This could have been resolved five to six years ago. The patients interviewed here could have had their health-care restored, if LSU, the state, and the city officials weren't so stubborn about their insistence that New Orleans' new hospital be a suburban-sized behemoth..."
And if the DDD, BioDistrict, and the Regional Planning Commission weren't so stubborn as well, pushing hard behind the scenes to get in on the indirect development opportunities that would flow from the exodus of the hospitals from the CBD.
If anyone can find a source that says the UMC as proposed would create as many as 17,000 jobs, please send it my way. I have yet to see such numbers.