Come on people – we can do better than this. A recent article in the New York Daily News featured a story about the Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center hospital and the struggles it is facing. Employees there have been complaining as of late that they don't have such common products as toilet paper, hand towels and even soap. Soap? This is a hospital, after all, where sanitation is of the highest order.
Workers are pointing the finger at management, claiming that the hospital administration is looking to get out of the red by cutting back on supplies and by closing the pediatric intensive care unit. Paulette Forbes, a radiology technician and a 1199 SEIU delegate explained that the hospital is, "trying to financially stabilize the hospital; that's what they are telling us." Meanwhile, she carries her own toilet paper with her to work.
A Questionable Merger
Based on a state advisory panel's recommendations, Brookdale is supposed to merge with Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center. Many, however are skeptical about that move as well. State Assemblyman Nick Perry (D-East Flatbush) is very skeptical about this merger. As he said,
“Kingsbrook is barely out of the woods. We don’t think it has strong enough shoulders to carry Brookdale. We’re very, very concerned this will wind up with the closing of one or the other.”
Other Problems Ahead
Now, the merger looms over the heads of the toilet-strapped workers, as do many other coming changes. The hospital plans to get rid of its anesthesiology residency program, decrease its pediatric residency program, and make some layoffs.
All of these issues come after former CEO David Rosen was convicted last September of trying to bribe three Brooklyn and Queens lawmakers. The state advisory panel has also reported that Brookdale has $42 million in operating losses in 2010 and a $112 million long-term debt, not to mention liabilities that are $285 million greater than the assets it has.
If only the toilet paper were the major problem the hospital is having.