Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Hospitals begin shutdown
Days after receiving notice their hospital was closing, employees at Mary Immaculate and St. John's Queens Hospitals got another memo. This time, it was to inform them that St. Johns is no longer an emergency ambulance destination for pediatric patients.
"This is a travesty. How do you close a hospital that's full to capacity," said Kim Zambrata, a worker at St. John's.
But there is more bad news. Caritas Healthcare, the company that operates both hospitals, says starting Saturday they will stop admitting patients altogether. The two hospitals see about 100,000 people in their emergency rooms every year, and Elmhurst residents say they are devastated by how quickly things are moving.
"I don't understand how they could close a hospital in such a heavily populated area such as this. It's ridiculous. I don't know the politics behind this, but someone needs to do something about this right away," said Dave Herbert, an Elmhurst resident.
Over in Jamaica, Mary Immaculate Hospital workers and residents voiced their concerns as well.
"That's going to be unfortunate. There are a lot of old people over here who have emergencies," said Ashley Johnson, a Jamaica resident.
(Let's remember that Jamaica and Queens Blvd were recently drastically upzoned but they are closing a hospital in each community.)