New York Health Commission Recommends Closure of Hospital That Specializes in Childbirth
The New York state Commission on Health Care Facilities in the 21st Century last week released a report that recommended the closure of Victory Memorial Hospital and Skilled Nursing Center in New York City, which specializes in childbirth and serves many Chinese and Russian immigrants, the New York Times reports (Mindlin, New York Times, 12/3). New York Gov. George Pataki (R) and the state Legislature formed the commission last year to recommend changes to the state's health care system, which is the most expensive in the country. The commission's report recommends nine hospital closures and the reconfiguration of 48 additional hospitals in the state. Pataki and Gov.-elect Eliot Spitzer (D) on Wednesday endorsed the report (Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, 11/30). Victory Memorial has a program for pregnant Muslim women to receive care by only female physicians and nurses. In addition, the hospital contains phones with two handsets so physicians and patients can speak with outside interpreters. "The ethnic minorities we serve don't have automobiles," Donald Zarou, chief of obstetrics at Victory Memorial, said, adding, "What are they going to do, wait for a bus while they have three-minute contractions?" According to the Times, the hospital might close next year unless it is spared by the bankruptcy protection it filed last month (Mindlin, New York Times, 12/3).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.