All we `really' need is an emergency hospital here in Hoboken

All we `really' need is an emergency hospital here in Hoboken

11/19/2006  HR

Dear Editor:

By way of saving Hoboken's St. Mary Hospital, the City Council is about to kiss goodbye our best chance of keeping an emergency room in town.

Unless it's gone already. Here's the story.

As I reminded readers in a previous letter, when Bon Secours first announced that it was dumping the money-losing hospital, another health care company said it would take over the emergency room. That's really the only hospital facility we need right her in town. But the Mayor made a lot of noise about saving the entire hospital with a city takeover. Hence the plan to stick taxpayers with a fifty million dollar bond. And when taxpayers expressed concern about repaying the bond, he said, `Don't worry; if it's not turning a profit by the end of 2007' - I think now they're saying in two years from now – `we can always sell the property to developers.'

Under Bon Secours the hospital was losing` three million dollars a month. A promised subsidy for publicly owned hospitals will reduce, but not eliminate that amount.

Other hospitals with a similar patient base – on. Medicaid or uninsured are failing financially right and left.

The city is sinking fifty million dollars into the purchase (of auxiliary property) and improvements. As for those improvements, the new manager talks of providing, among other upgrades, "hotel-style amenities" to lure patients with insurance who now choose to go elsewhere. He should know he could put chocolates on my pillow, and it wouldn't lure me there without expert doctors on the staff. Arrangements with schools of nursing and pharmacy are well and good. I have nothing but respect for both professions. But it's the doctors who overwhelmingly determine a patients outcome. (I'm not saying every doctor at St. Mary is incompetent, but it's not where I would choose to take my chances.)

So here's my prediction: By the declared deadline (one year, two, whatever) the hospital is still losing, money, so the city sells it to developers. Residents let it go to avoid a rise in taxes. And we're left with-out that crucial resource, quick access to an emergency room.

Since this scenario seems obvious to everyone I've spoken with, could it be that's what the Mayor had in mind all along?


Comments (0)

New comments are currently disabled.

Email to Friend

Fill in the form below to send this article to a friend:

Email to Friend
* Your Name:
* Your Email:
* Friend's Name:
* Friend's Email:
* Security Image:
Security Image Generate new
Copy the numbers and letters from the security image
* Message: