Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hurricane Sandy - Bellevue, NYU, and Coler Hospital Evacuations - Political Accountability

Who is politically accountable for the failure of the emergency management plan in response to Hurricane Sandy that lead to infrastructure failure at New York City hospitals ?

Following the infrastructure failure of critical hospitals in New York City because of flooding and storm surge associated with Hurricane Sandy and related power failures, some healthcare activists began to demand answers for the failure of New York City's emergency management planning. The fault does not lie with the doctors and medical staff at the impacted hospitals ; rather, the politicians in charge of the city's emergency management plan must account for this irresponsible and dangerous situation. How could it be that New York City's resources would prioritise reopening business when critical hospitals could be left in the dark ? One activist has posted a new YouTube video requesting political accountability for the dangerous risks posed to public health by Mayor Michael Bloomberg's lack of real emergency planning.

Video Link :


In the community effort to demand a replacement hospital for St. Vincent's, politicians imposed on the community the burden of participating in a needs assessment to determine if a full-service hospital was required in the Lower West Side of Manhattan.

"The hospital evacuations following the destruction by Hurricane Sandy expose the risks of the Rudin Condo Conversion Plan approved for St. Vincent's Hospital," said Louis Flores, an activist who produced this YouTube video. "New York City needs a Level I Trauma Center and full-service hospital in the Lower West Side for disaster recovery efforts. And New York City needs real resources to improve the infrastructure of all of our hospitals, including Coler Hospital on Roosevelt Island and SUNY Downstate Hospital in Brooklyn."

Hurricane Irene

In 2011, St. Vincent's activists organized a mass civilian trauma event exercise to demonstrate what grassroots community activists described was a major risk to public health : where would sick and injured patients receive emergency and trauma care in the event of a major national disaster under conditions that had created an irresponsible geographic distribution of hospital beds in Manhattan.

See related link :

Hurricane Sandy

In the time leading up to and following the landfall of the effects of Hurricane Sandy, the infrastructure of full-service hospitals on the East Side of Manhattan has failed. Hospital patients were forced to be evacuated from NYU Langone and Bellevue Hospitals.

To Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Speaker Christine Quinn, and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, to City Planner Amanda Burden, Brad Hoylman, Bill Rudin, and to the Partnership for New York, where are New Yorkers supposed to go now, in case of a medical emergency ?

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