By Roger Paradiso
I recently visited a fantastic hospital on the Upper East Side. It’s called Memorial Sloan Kettering. The outpatient wing, which is bigger than most other hospitals I have ever visited in my life, is also a fantastic medical facility. I decided to walk around the neighborhood, and I saw hospital after hospital. All of them have expanded and have new wings costing hundreds of millions of dollars. They call the Upper East Side of Manhattan “Bed Pan Alley.” That’s because they have one hospital bed reserved for each resident. Well, I exaggerate. The Upper East Side has approximately 125,000 residents. There are over 5,000 hospital beds, depending on during which month you are counting, because they are still building new wings to hospitals. But by doing some math, you can see that there is currently one bed for every 25 people.
When I walk by where St. Vincent’s used to be I don’t see a hospital, but I do see a condo that has a lot of beds but no hospital beds.
The Emergency Department at Lenox Health Greenwich Village, built to placate the thousands of angry Villagers when St. Vincent’s was shut down, has two beds. There have been rumors that there is a total of ten beds in the West Village, but nobody has found them yet. Let’s go with what we know—okay? The Lower West Side, encompassing the West Village and parts of Chelsea, Tribeca, and Soho, has a population of around 100,000 people. Now, if my math is correct, that means, OMG, there is only one bed for every 50,000 Lower West Siders!
That’s why we need a new St. Vincent’s Hospital.
“A mother and a father wrap their arms around a growing child when he or she is ill, just as a community hospital wraps its care around the patients of the neighborhood. And we can walk to its doors” (George Capsis, West View News, 6/23/2022). This is why we need to fight for another hospital to replace the great St. Vincent’s Hospital. There will be petitions placed in stores in the Village soon, and reporters from WestView News around the Village in the coming months. We are all friends of BUILD A NEW ST. VINCENT’S HOSPITAL.
Please sign the petition if you want a new hospital for the West Village, Tribeca, and other parts of the Lower West Side.