Ambulances Diverted from St. Vincent's

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Officials say the city's Fire Department will begin diverting most ambulances away from financially troubled St. Vincent's Hospital in Greenwich Village on Friday morning. 

All ambulance transports - except those for psychiatric patients - will be diverted to other hospitals by 10 a.m. Friday. A hospital spokesman says walk-in patients will still be accepted and treated.

St. Vincent's board of directors announced Tuesday that it would end its inpatient services at the 160-year-old institution.

City hospitals say they are ready to accomodate extra patients from the failing hospital. But, they are asking for more state funds to help them do so.

The health care facility took in more than 20,000 patients last year. In a statement, the city's Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) says it needs a "couple of million dollars" extra to pay for additional staff and beds at the Bellevue and Metropolitan Hospitals, which expect to take on St. Vincent's patients.

A spokesperson wouldn't specify exactly how much HHC is seeking. Mayor Bloomberg is urging New Yorkers to lobby Albany to free up more money for the city's hospital system.

For more St. Vincent's coverage from WNYC, click here and here.

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