LSU, VA plan New Orleans medical center

Louisiana State University and the Department of Veteran's Affairs announced a plan to build a new $1.2 billion medical center in New Orleans. The hospital will probably take over the role played by historic Charity Hospital, although no official announcement has been made yet on the older hospital. Construction is slated for October 2008. Some doctors groups have criticized the plan as unnecessary, arguing that damage to the first floor and basement of the hospital could be repaired fairly easily. Others have argued the project will be too late to alleviate the city's current healthcare crisis.

More controversially, the new facility will be built in the a part of the city that flooded during Hurricane Katrina. Planners say they want to prepare for the worst by building the structure 15 feet above sea level and ensuring that the facility is stocked with enough food, water and medicines to last a week in a crisis.

- see this article from The Times-Picayune