From the NY Post:
If you're going to get sick in Queens, take a number and wait.
The borough's already crowded hospitals have been jammed with patients since Mary Immaculate and St. John's Queens hospitals closed in February. Adding to the cramming are swine-flu fears that flooded area ERs last week.
The emergency room at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center hit a record high of 478 patients Monday. At least an extra 100 patients a day poured into ERs at Elmhurst Hospital, Queens Hospital Center and New York Hospital Queens.
The Post found that hospitals are filled to capacity with patients waiting hours, or even days, in the ER for a room to open up.
And from the Daily News:
The swine flu outbreak "highlights the need to take a close look at" health care in Queens, said Geralyn Randazzo, executive director of Forest Hills Hospital, where emergency room volume jumped to 2,105 patients in March, compared to 1,700 the same time last year.
She said the facility had treated and released 56 patients with flu-like symptoms as of Friday.
New York Hospital Queens in Flushing, which did not receive funding when the hospitals closed, saw patient volume jump by some 150 visits per week after the shutdowns.
CEO Stephen Mills said the swine flu outbreak has added another 100 to 120 patients per day on top of that - with the only saving grace being that patients have not had to be admitted thus far.
"If this turns into a situation where a lot of people require hospitalization ... we don't have the capacity - what I call surge capacity - to deal with it," he said.