From the Queens Chronicle:
...a fundamental question remains: will Queens residents have to live with fewer but larger local hospitals in the face of declining capital sources from both the public and private sectors?
Contributing to the hospital industry’s financial decline in Queens is an ongoing exodus of elective procedures — which industry executives said account for nearly 40 percent of revenue at healthy hospitals — into Manhattan and Long Island and a growing number of uninsured residents substituting nearby emergency rooms for primary care offices.
“If you have insurance and your insurance is accepted at a number of facilities — you can go almost anywhere that accepts your insurance,” Nemzoff said. “The emergency room is much more prone to picking up patients in their immediate service area, but as far as being admitted by doctors — these doctors practice at multiple hospitals. If the patient wants to go somewhere else they admit them into another hospital.”
Now many are left wondering whether the current system is sustainable.
“Have we and the state done a good enough job of local health planning in the borough of Queens?” asked one top hospital official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “There may be pockets — for example western Queens, or southern Queens and southeastern Queens — where you are very underbedded for the population. But maybe parts of central Queens are overbedded.”
Parkway Hospital owner Dr. Robert Aquino... acknowledged that getting Queens healthcare back on track would be a difficult and costly task, he believes inaction is no longer an option.
“I think Queens is in big trouble,” he said.
Photo from the Times Ledger