Streams

Only 1 in 3 Public Clinics Provide Emergency Contraception

Public Advocate study finds some health clinics fail to follow city mandate

Monday, October 06, 2008

The Health and Hospitals Corporation, which runs most of the clinics, says the medication known as "the morning after pill" is widely available. They claim the problem is mis-information provided by phone operators.

Public Advocate Betsey Gotbaum's staff compiled the report after calling them anonymously.

HHC pledges to improve its communications, and Gotbaum says she's confident they will.

GOTBAUM: They've said they will correct that. They have agreed to work with us. They admitted they didn't know some of the things that we pointed out. And for me, it's the way government should work.

REPORTER: The other agency that runs public clinics, the Health Department, says it only distributes emergency contraception when a physician or nurse practitioner is present.

A spokeswoman says full staffing is not available at all sites at all times.

Instead, women should call 311 or check the Health Department’s website to find a location offering emergency contraception on a given day.

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