Tuesday, May 19, 2020

If you build them, less will die

Commercial Observer

A once-in-a-century pathogen overwhelmed New York medical centers this spring and at least part of the blame lies in decisions state and health care leaders made to eliminate 20,000 hospital beds over the past two decades.

 Gov. Andrew Cuomo warned New York could need between 55,000 and 110,000 hospital beds to treat COVID-19 patients through the end of April. But the Empire State only had 53,000 licensed hospital beds to begin with, down from the 73,931 that existed in 2000. 

The surge in patients has overloaded both the city’s pricey academic medical centers and its deficit-ridden public hospital system. By the end of April, 41,316 New Yorkers would seek treatment for coronavirus symptoms at a hospital and 17,589 residents died from the disease. At the apex of the pandemic, which occurred around April 12, hospitals contained close to 19,000 COVID patients.

Hospitalizations have declined since then but Cuomo acknowledged the state must be better prepared for the future. The health care system’s ability to protect the public would be imperiled if 70 percent of hospital beds were occupied, he said.

“Governors don’t do global pandemics,” Cuomo said in a briefing on April 28. “It’s not a state responsibility in this system who was supposed to blow the bugle and didn’t. I would bank on this happening again.”

The governor may be right that another wave of illness will strike this fall but the state’s lack of preparedness was due to decades of deregulation, systemic racism, and political apathy that led to dozens of hospital closures across the city.

“The chickens are coming home to roost,” Community Service Society Vice President Elisabeth Benjamin told Commercial Observer. “The people that are suffering and disproportionately dying are living in communities where all these hospitals got closed. Hospital capacity there is so woefully under-resourced it’s an outrage.”


Anonymous said...

I'm glad you're talking about this. We've lost so many hospital beds yet gained so many luxury condos. Bad exchange. I want to hear the msm and our "leaders" discuss this. In my neighborhood (10 in 10 blocks) we have 12 luxury condos under development, no rentals.

Anonymous said...

And who would have thought that with record high taxes, we would have less public services?

JQ LLC said...

Check out my blog and my post about St. John's hospital on my name url link there.

Anonymous said...

They want to build apartments but they are dumb enough to not build hospitals, schools in the correct areas, firehouses, police stations, more dmvs, more garbage pickup. The more you want to increase the population, the more government agencies and services and buildings you need. This virus should though now teach us that we dont need anymore people in this city especially third worlders. Look around you and see what the city has become. Criminals, homeless, illegals and filthy people everywhere you look. We dont need anymore people in this city at all. We should be tightening zoning laws like how they used to be. There is a reason for zoning laws and maybe pandemics like this was a reason for it. The city is literally a safety hazard and it's NOT good! I'm so glad I moved to long island where they actually take care of the people out there and follow zoning laws for the most part.

Anonymous said...

RIP St. John's Hospital. I was born there.