From the Wall Street Journal:
At Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, the emergency room has expanded into a former café and conference area as hospital officials cope with double their patient capacity.
At New York Hospital Queens, patients in March waited an average of 17 hours to be placed in beds, sometimes being held in hallways, waiting rooms or sunrooms.
"If you want to think you're in a war-torn third-world country, just go to the ER at New York Hospital Queens on a Friday afternoon," said Dr. Paul Aaronson, president of the Queens County Medical Society.
As the closure of St. Vincent's Hospital in Manhattan sparks fear about the impact on the remaining hospitals, hospital employees and advocates in Queens say they continue to struggle with the effects of three hospital closures—two last year, and one the previous fall. The overcrowding problem, they say, is exacerbated by a growing elderly and immigrant population, and state cuts in hospital funding.
"Queens going in was significantly underbedded," said Kenneth E. Raske, president of Greater New York Hospital Association. "They have the lowest bed-to-population ratio of any of the boroughs."
With a potential state budget cuts on the way, Mr. Raske said it is imperative that the 10 remaining hospitals remain financially stable. "It could precipitate a public-health crisis if one of them were to go down," he said.