U of L Hospital hopes new partnership will quiet critics - WDRB 41 Louisville News

U of L Hospital hopes new partnership will quiet critics

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -– University Hospital's proposed merger has stirred up a storm of controversy. Now it's come up with a plan it hopes will quiet the critics.

The merger means U of L will no longer be allowed to perform certain reproductive procedures, but patients who want those services will now be allowed to use Baptist East. Still, those who oppose the merger don't believe this solves anything.

It hasn't officially been approved yet, but U of L is confident it will merge with Jewish Hospital, as well another hospital in Lexington. The new healthcare system will be the largest in the state, run by Catholic Health Initiatives.

"We're proceeding with this merger. It's very clear that we will be able to proceed with it," said Executive Vice President Dr. David Dunn.

Catholic Health Initiatives prohibits certain reproductive procedures; specifically, tubal ligation, or having one's tubes tied, after childbirth.  U of L announced Wednesday that through a new partnership, its doctors will be able to perform that procedure at Baptist East.

"At the same time, this will ensure our ability to provide reproductive services for our patients after the merger occurs," said Dunn.

"If this merger goes through I hope every citizen would turn to their doctor and say, 'How does this affect me?' said Honi Goldman.

Goldman has been a vocal opponent of the merger since it was first announced.  She says transferring women in labor from U of L downtown to Baptist East in Saint Matthews won't always be feasible.

"We're going to transport you, bypassing all these other hospitals, so that you can deliver at Baptist East. That doesn't really cut it for a woman in labor," Goldman said.

But as the merger moves closer to becoming a reality, women may not have any other options.

The merger cleared a major hurdle earlier this week as it was approved by the Federal Trade Commission.  It still has to be approved by the Catholic Church and the governor.

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