Can Anything Resuscitate Brooklyn’s Ailing Hospitals?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn. Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn. (Natalie Fertig/WNYC)

Kim Velsey, New York Observer real estate editor, talks about Brooklyn’s severely distressed healthcare system. This year, Long Island College Hospital was shuttered—only the vestige of an emergency room remains. Another hospital, Interfaith, was saved from the same fate by emergency funding from the state, given with the understanding that its closure would have disastrous consequences for the surrounding Bedford-Stuyvesant community. A state report from 2011 identified at least three other Brooklyn hospitals “at risk of imminent financial collapse.” The report advised major changes: multiple mergers and the creation of a vast outpatient network across the borough, recommendations that have gone almost entirely unheeded in the past three years. Her article “A Nice Place to Live, but I Wouldn’t Want to Get Sick There” is in the July 16 New York Observer.


Kim Velsey

Comments [7]

Bklyn-ite from Park Slope

When Mayor DeBlasio was Public Advocate, he proposed a Brooklyn Health Authority to try to bring some equity and rationality to the hospital situation in Brooklyn.
But somehow this hasn't risen to the top of his priority list as Mayor. Yet this is surely what we need -- someone to look at the big picture and make sure that all Brooklyn neighborhoods have access to a decent hospital. Near where I live, Methodist Hospital in Park Slope wants to expand and build a massive new building but it serves relatively few patients who are Medicaid-eligible and its location is not that easy to get to for people in most of Brooklyn. How will this expansion impact the already struggling safety net hospitals? Will a larger Methodist hospital suck even more insured patients away from hospitals like Interfaith, pushing them further into financial peril? Will people in Brownstone Brooklyn actually use this new facility or will they continue to go to Manhattan, especially for non-emergency care? Who will actually go to the bigger Methodist Hospital? And, most importantly, who is trying to figure out the answer to these questions?

Jul. 23 2014 11:56 PM
Thurston Howell III from Gilligan's Island

Yes, luxury condos will save those ailing hospitals. Sick people need to go somewhere else! It's just too bad for them. We need MORE LUXURY CONDOS in Brooklyn and hospitals take up way too much valuable real estate. Where will we put the next precious cupcake shop, artisanal mustard vendor or trendy over-hyped, over-priced, American white-owned Thai restaurant?!

Jul. 23 2014 03:13 PM
Janet Atkinson from Wyckoff NJ

I'm surprised Lutheran Medical Center was not mentioned in this piece. I delivered both my daughters there and had great care in both instances. The hospital is clean and well run. My GYN and pediatrician were both caring, and exhibited a high level of expertise in their fields. The care I received from the nursing staff was also very good. I understand they've expanded the trauma center and maternity ward recently. This would indicate their economic picture is very different from the one described on Brooklyn hospitals in the interview. The hospital is a vital center of the community, ranging in services in all demographics, from the low income residents of sunset park to the higher income population of Bay Ridge.

Also, want to mention my mother had eye issues and visited Long Island Hospital on numerous occasions. As some of your callers mentioned, the hospital appearance was not appealing, and I wanted to turn around, but her doctor was exceptional.

Jul. 23 2014 02:14 PM
Amanda from Chicago - formerly Bed Stuy

A little over 2 yrs ago, I fell and needed to take an ambulance to the ER for stitches. On the way to the hospital, I overheard one of the paramedics talking to the dispatcher. After being told they would need to take me to King's County, the paramedic asked if thy could take me "anywhere else." Obviously, not what you want to hear but we went there anyway. It all ended up fine although I did have to hobble over to the ER desk once there to remind them I needed attention. They apparently didn't have me checked in.

Jul. 23 2014 01:54 PM
Larry from Williamsburg

I think that many of the people in Brooklyn who use Manhattan hospitals (the so-called brownstone Brooklyn folks) used to live in Manhattan or live otherwise Manhattan-centered lives. They may not even know what hospitals are in Brooklyn. They may also be Manhattan aspirant... I hear the hospitals near me are not very good so I have thought I might go to Manhattan as well although luckily I have not had the need.

Jul. 23 2014 01:39 PM
Sandy from UES

I had my first child in 2000 while I was living in Brooklyn. I chose an ob/gyn from Manhattan and delivered at NY Pres on the UES. She referred me to a pediatrician also on the UES and so on and so on. I live in Manhattan now so it worked out well but was difficult while I was in Brooklyn.

Jul. 23 2014 01:37 PM
Cory from UES

Come on. Manhattan has the greatest university based teaching hospitals in the world. Why not go there if you possibly can? There has to be a difference.

Jul. 23 2014 01:34 PM

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