From the NY Post:
As the hospital prepares to close down its emergency room tomorrow, Paterson is proposing that Lenox Hill Hospital temporarily operate a 24/7 "urgent-care facility" at St. Vincent's until a permanent location can be found.
But doctors at St. Vincent's say the idea is an ill-planned sop to local pols who demand that St. Vincent's be saved.
Despite its name, an "urgent-care facility" handles only low-threshold injuries and illnesses; more serious problems would have to be transported by ambulance to other hospitals.
Which raises another serious health issue: Many more seriously ill patients, like those suffering heart attacks, may lose critically important treatment time by going to the urgent-care facility rather than a genuine emergency room.
Said Dr. Charles Carpati, chief of intensive care at St. Vincent's: "It seems like they were trying to have a speedy political resolution that sounded good but was not the result of any study or the voice of the community or physicians."
Then there's the financial issue: Use of St. Vincent's property would have to be approved by the bankruptcy court -- not at all a sure thing.
Not to mention that the state grant covers only two years of a five-year contract -- and, like St. Vincent's, Lenox Hill also has been struggling for cash.
Which gets us to the fundamental point: There are too many hospitals in New York City -- and the competition is sapping the financial integrity of all of them.
- Ok, so Governor Paterson scrambled to do something to put a band-aid on the loss of St. Vincent's. When two hospitals in Queens closed on the same day, he did absolutely nothing.
- Screaming by Manhattan pols got a small bone thrown to them, screaming by Queens pols accomplished absolutely nothing.
- The Post looks at NYC as a whole and determines there are too many hospitals operating instead of looking at individual neighborhoods and how they are impacted by the closures. Clusters of open hospitals in Manhattan don't help people in southeastern Queens.
- Closing hospitals anywhere in the city while pushing to add a million more people to the city is not exactly the smartest move. But Bloomberg gives less than a shit about any of this. After all, he has a McMansion in Bermuda to retire to each weekend.