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If East End hospital deal fails next week, there are 'no other options'

WUSA-TV Washington, D.C. logo WUSA-TV Washington, D.C. 12/11/2018 Lorenzo Hall

WASHINGTON -- “Poison pill,” is how DC Council Health Committee Chair, Vincent Gray is referring to the amendments introduced by two councilmembers involving the new Southeast D.C. hospital.

Council member Elissa Silverman, I-At large, introduced an amendment to establish a union at the new hospital. The other amendment, by council member Trayon White, D-Ward 8, would form a partnership between Howard University and George Washington University Hospital.

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GWU Hospital was set to operate the new East End hospital until they stopped negotiations because of those new amendments late last week.

Councilman Gray said if the deal falls flat, the city would have to “start all over again. There’s no one else other than GW to turn to at this point.”

RELATED: Howard University continues fight for affiliation with new Southeast DC hospital

“We have people who die. We can’t sit by and let people continue to die like this,” said Gray when speaking about the possibility of the East End Health Equity Act of 2018 failing.

Under the current proposal, the new hospital is scheduled to open in 2023. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s office said the city is not interested in the business of running a new hospital again and won’t move forward with construction unless the city has a financially stable partner offering a range of health services.

WUSA reached out to council members Silverman and White, but they have not responded.

The DC Council votes December 18.

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