New York City’s hospitals, already strained and overcrowded, are experiencing a spree of closings, felled by the economic crisis. St. John’s Queens Hospital and Mary Immaculate Hospital have gone bankrupt and boarded up the entrances. This leaves Queens-dwellers with few options, and those few options in an awful overcrowding situation.
“It’s a real failure of government to set priorities and manage them properly,” Gioia said. “They throw up their hands when the money runs out and say, ‘What can we do?’ That’s not good enough.”
Mayor Bloomberg called the closures “sad” and said the city has to do more with less in these tough economic times.
“Having said that, there is no reason for us to … walk away from our basic functions of government,” he said, adding that the Fire Department will dispatch more ambulances in Queens and for other hospitals to fill the void.
Carlos Quiles, a nurse who lost his job at St. John’s, said the next best option for care in Queens is Elmhurst Hospital Center, which is already filled to capacity.
“I can’t understand the wisdom behind closing the hospitals,” he said. “The politicians clearly have no understanding of the ramifications.”
That nurse is right, the politicians don’t get it. They’re not envisioning the overcrowding and wait times this will cause. I’ve never heard of a hospital here that isn’t packed, we’re already seeing ER wait times in excess of 8 hours in some of the city-run hospitals, and you suddenly remove nearly a thousand beds from the equation?? That’s really not gonna be pretty.
In Manhattan, Cabrini Medical Center had to close. There’s been lots of talk about that here in the hospital I live in, because we’ve taken in some of Cabrini’s refugee respiratory therapists. The gossip now is about which hospital is next in line at the guillotine (some say Maimonides Hospital in Brooklyn won’t make it) and whether any of the doctors and nurses in my home hospital will be safe. “I don’t know if we’re safe,” my doctor said, sighing.