Sunday, June 3, 2012
Lack of hospital services in Rockaways
From the Times Ledger:
Since state Department of Health officials closed Peninsula Hospital Center in April, St. John’s Episcopal Hospital in Far Rockaway is experiencing a 35 percent increase in emergency room visits and inpatient volume has climbed 11 percent, according to a St. John’s representative.
In an effort to match the higher volume of patients, the hospital has stepped up staffing across its departments. St. John’s’ top executive said Peninsula’s closure has raised health care concerns in the area.
St. John’s submitted plans to the state DOH to expand its emergency department with an observation unit and more treatment bays, including a comprehensive psychiatric emergency program. When those plans are completed, the emergency department’s capacity will increase to 50,000 patient visits per year, according to a hospital representative.
Even with a potential increase in staff at St. John’s, elected officials still contend the closing of Peninsula has created a health care crisis in the Rockaways — one that will only get worse as beach weather comes to the borough.