Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Andrew Cuomo and the Neoliberalism Spree of Hospital Closings

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is closing hospitals, cutting healthcare, and attacking the social safety net in a spree of neoliberalism to "window dress" the New York State budget. His plan will make him look good, but it comes at the risk to public health. What are you going to do about it ?

Eleven hospital closings in New York City alone, since 2006 :

- Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn voted to be closed down under pressure from the Department of Health in 2013 ;

- Peninsula Hospital Center closed by the Department of Health in 2012 after it filed for bankruptcy ;

- North General Hospital in Harlem declared bankruptcy in 2010 ;

- St. Vincent's Hospital in Greenwich Village was shut down in 2010 to become luxury condos built by the greedy Rudin family ;

- St. John's Queens Hospital in Elmhurst went bankrupt in 2009 ;

- Mary Immaculate Hospital in Jamaica, Queens, went bankrupt in 2009 ;

- Parkway Hospital in Forest Hills, Queens, closed in 2008 ;

- Cabrini Medical Center in Manhattan closed in 2008 ;

- Victory Memorial Hospital in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, closed in 2008 ; and

- St. Vincent's Midtown (f.k.a. St. Clare's Hospital) closed in 2007.

We are at the point right now where there are not enough hospitals left in New York City to deal with a mass civilian trauma event, natural disaster, or epidemic.

This year's flu season was aggravated by the temporary closing of these hospitals, which sustained major damage from Hurricane Sandy :

- Bellevue Hospital ;

- NYU Langone Hospital ;

- New York Downtown Hospital ;

- Coler-Goldwater Hospital ; and

- Coney Island Hospital.

And the only functioning hospital in all of Lower Manhattan was Beth Israel, but it was functioning for a time solely on back-up generators.

Is this the kind of healthcare system that we can rely up on save lives in times of a medical emergency ?

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