Monday, April 2, 2012

Occupy Wall Street Marches Over Brooklyn Bridge, Rallies for Health Care

Several hundred Occupy Wall Street activists marched across the Brooklyn Bridge and rallied in Cadman Plaza Park in Brooklyn Sunday afternoon, on the six-month anniversary of the massive OWS bridge arrests.

The overall theme was access to healthcare. Several of groups -- including Healthcare for the 99%, the Granny Peace Brigade and Act Up -- spoke about the Brooklyn hospital crisis.

Five hospitals in Brooklyn are in severe financial distress: Interfaith Medical Center, Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center, Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center and Brooklyn Hospital Center.

OWS asked: Why did Gov. Cuomo appointed Stephen Berger, a Wall Street millionaire financier, to be in charge of restructuring health care in Brooklyn?

Among other things, Berger (as head of the workgroup) wants to shut down SUNY Downstate's inpatient services and move them to SUNY LICH in Cobble Hill. Thousands of central Brooklyn residents would lose health care services, including an Emergency Room, and more than 1,500 jobs would be lost. 

Berger also wanted to close Kingsboro Psychiatric Center and move its services to Staten Island, leaving Brooklyn -- with more mental health needs than any other county -- without any long-term mental health services. (The Cuomo Administration backed off this plan Friday after Brooklyn legislators interceded on the Flatbush facility’s behalf.)

Berger also stood in the way of the effort to include an emergency room at SUNY Downstate at Bay Ridge, according to the Brooklyn Eagle.

Berger is recommending that New York change its laws to allow for-profit investors to invest in financially-distressed public hospitals.

Incidentally, the New York Times recently detailed the mismanagement and lavish life style of Wyckoff Hospital's chief executive and board members, who appear to be sucking Wyckoff dry before the place folds.

A special meeting will take place Thursday night at 6 p.m. at Brooklyn Borough Hall to discuss the Brooklyn Hospital Crisis. All are welcome.
More about this issue at the Save Our Safety Net website.

Photos by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.


James said...

Why SHOULD residents of Brooklyn (the POOR) have any choice in their
healthcare. If they were REAL people, they would be RICH. Afterall, GOD has blessed this country, and if you aren't RICH, then you aren't BLESSED and you aren't really a person. Not a real person, like those who live
in the UES of Manhattan.

Anonymous said...

Let them eat cake.