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A Disturbing Pattern of Hospital Closings in NYC

Posted by libhom Thursday, February 17, 2011

This is downright scary. (NY Pop Culture and Politics 2/11/11)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has found enough state grant money to save Long Island College Hospital, NY1 reported. Because of the deal, 2,500 employees, who work at the Brooklyn hospital, will be able to keep their jobs.

In the time that Christine Quinn has been Speaker of the New York City Council, at least eight city hospitals have closed :

- North General Hospital in Harlem declared bankruptcy in 2010 ;
- St. Vincent's Hospital in the West Village was shut down in 2010 after shady backroom meetings ;
- St. John's Queens Hospital in Elmhurst went bankrupt in 2009 ;
- Mary Immaculate Hospital in Jamaica went bankrupt in 2009 ;
- Parkway Hospital in Forest Hills decided to close in 2008 ;
- Cabrini Medical Center in Manhattan closed in 2008 ;
- Victory Memorial Hospital in Bay Ridge closed in 2008 ; and
- St. Vincent's Midtown in Manhattan closed in 2007.

Three things struck me right away on this one.

Bloomberg looking insufferably smug1) Bloomberg has been mayor during this period and hasn't lifted a finger to save any hospital.

2) Before they were cash poor from the child molestation lawsuits, the Roman Catholic clergy were buying up hospitals so they could deny women patients access to birth control and abortion. As you can see, they have an execrable record in terms of managing hospitals.

3) "Policy experts" here and in other parts of the country have been babbling on about "excess hospital beds" for at least a couple of decades. If they had IQs over 60, they would realize that it is necessary to have extra hospital capacity in case of disasters. This includes terrorist attacks in NYC. These "efficiency experts" have no clue about the role that hospitals are supposed to play in the security of their cities, towns, and neighborhoods. You would think that NYC would learn from 911, but Bloomberg obviously has not.

Penny pinching HMOs and health insurers along with cutbacks in government funding for healthcare over the years have had devastating effects on hospitals and the people who need them. We need Medicare for All ASAP. What we don't need is what we have: a government that makes big money campaign contributions, reprehensible wars, other subsidies for corporations, and tax cuts for the rich higher priorities than human needs.

Photo: Edwin Martinez1



  1. I live near the former St. Vincent's. My gut says a few someones are going to make a buttload of money on the sudden availability of lots of land to develop in the village. So, where do we go if there's an emergency?

  2. The toll of all of these hospital closings is now being felt across the state, not just in New York City. Didn’t Anybody Predict ER Wait Times Would Rise As A Consequence ? On average, New Yorkers in medical distress have to wait for almost five hours before they are examined in emergency rooms. This wait time means that New Yorkers have to wait longer for ER treatment than almost anyone else in the United States. The state-wide statistic ranks New York as 46th in the country for wait times, tying the state with Mississippi according to a Press Ganey hospital survey.

    From the New York Post : Industry sources said recent hospital closures have contributed to longer wait times. For example, St. Vincent's Medical Center and North General hospital in Manhattan shut down last year, and about a half-dozen city hospitals have shut down over the last several years.



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