February 26, 2014
By Marc Bussanich
Bronx, NY—Councilmember Andy King stood with nurses from the New York State Nurses Association to call on North Central Bronx Hospital to make sure it reopens the maternity ward as it said it would do in November. Video
The public hospital, part of the Health and Hospitals Corporation, closed the labor and delivery unit back in August, forcing expectant mothers in the Norwood section of the Bronx to go to the delivery unit at Jacobi Medical Center, four miles away.
The closing sparked an outcry from nurses and patients, compelling hospital officials to announce in November that they would reopen the ward by April 30.
If the hospital doesn’t reopen the ward by April the Department of Health Services would then proceed to decertify all the appropriate beds in the ward, according to Councilman King and NYSNA.
Jill Furillo, NYSNA’s executive director, said the union isn’t happy about that possible outcome.
“We call that into question, we think that that’s not right. We don’t know where that decision is coming from, and why it’s happening. But HHC promised that they would reopen the [ward].”
Furillo also said disparities in health care in New York would only worsen with a potential closing of the maternity ward at North Central Bronx Hospital.
“We reject the idea that [DOHS] would decertify any of the beds that are needed in this community. The Upper East Side of Manhattan has 6 hospital beds for every 1,000 people, but in the Bronx it’s 2 hospital beds for every 1,000 residents. It’s a disparity that needs to end.”
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