The hospital defended its improvement plan.
“To label this mission, after listening to our course of and plans to develop a state-of-the-art hospital for the neighborhood, as racist is completely absurd,” mentioned Joseph Kemp, a spokesman for Northwell. “Lenox Hill attracts sufferers from 72 ZIP codes all through the metropolitan space–56% of whom are nonwhite and 21% insured by Medicaid. The info exhibits that we not solely deal with individuals who reside in close by communities, but in addition our neighbors who come to us from Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx.”
Manhattan has 23 hospitals, in keeping with figures from the state’s Division of Well being and reported the bottom variety of Covid-19 deaths. Queens and the Bronx—the place there are 11 hospitals every and residents are overwhelmingly nonwhite—reported the best variety of deaths. Demise counts for Black and Hispanic New Yorkers have been the best throughout all boroughs.
“This hospital would serve solely to worsen ethnic and racial disparities and entry to hospital care,” mentioned Lois Uttley, the director of the Ladies’s Well being program at Neighborhood Catalyst. “We don’t want extra and fancier hospital beds within the prosperous, largely white Higher East Aspect of Manhattan.”
The disparity additionally comes from a statewide marketing campaign to shut hospitals to chop prices. Twenty-three hospitals have been shuttered throughout the state since 2007, in keeping with a New York State Well being Basis examine. In 2017 the state misplaced 474 beds, and 43% of them have been within the metropolis.
Dillon’s group initially opposed the hospital’s enlargement as a result of the proposed constructing was too massive for the neighborhood. From a enterprise perspective, the Higher East Aspect well being care market was too saturated, he mentioned.
Unique plans included a 490-foot residential condo tower and a brand new 516-foot hospital constructing with 475 further beds. Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Council Member Keith Powers convened a activity power, together with members of Neighborhood Board eight to evaluation the plans.
The duty power has met 5 instances, most just lately in September, when Northwell was requested to scale back the peak of the hospital tower and ax the residences from the proposal. A brand new proposal launched this week contains the modifications, though the variety of hospital beds is similar.
Neither Powers nor Brewer instantly responded to a request for remark.
Uttley mentioned she has been urging legislators to place the pursuit of well being fairness on the prime of their agenda in addressing the teachings realized throughout Covid-19. She’s making some headway, she mentioned. Meeting Well being Committee Chair Richard Gottfried launched a invoice that will require candidates for well being care tasks similar to this one to indicate how their proposals would scale back well being care inequity.