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By CHUCK REED
Special to The Advocate

AMITE -- Tangipahoa Parish Council members decided Monday to ask the state attorney general if they have the authority to investigate actions by the administration of North Oaks Medical Center.

Two physicians attended the council meeting to speak against current methods used to approve doctors for hospital privileges at North Oaks Medical Center. One councilman said he would like the procedure investigated.

Councilman Carlo Bruno offered a motion, which passed unanimously, to have council legal adviser Cliff Speed seek an attorney general's opinion to determine the council's authority to investigate hospital procedures.

"If it is not in our authority to investigate, then we can forward it to someone who can, like the district attorney," Bruno said.

Dr. Lynn Rogers of Slidell told the council, "I applied at North Oaks, and I got a call from the administrator and was told my application was not approved and that I should withdraw my application. I felt coerced into withdrawing my application."

Dr. Laura Crafton of Plaquemine said, "Lawyers are advising hospitals to hide behind the quality care act passed by Congress. You have gag orders requested by the hospitals. It's a financial situation -- some doctors do not want competition."

The issue of North Oaks' approval