We are disappointed to say that the Needs Assessment meeting that was scheduled for tomorrow at 1pm at Congressmember Nadler’s office has been relocated and we have not been given the new address. We have also been told that this is a private meeting.
The Coalition for a New Village Hospital has made clear that our position has been and continues to be that a needs assessment undercuts the rights we currently have under the law to a continuation of services which stems from the open Certificate of Operations that is still in effect at the site of St. Vincent’s.
Having said that however, given the fact that those in charge have decided to initiate a needs assessment rather than pursue more direct efforts to get services restored at the site of St. Vincent’s, it becomes vital that the community be central in how this happens and why this happens.
We must ensure that this needs assessment is not another back room deal where the real estate interests or other private interests determine the landscape of public health care, rather than public need determining public health care.
Public input must not be an afterthought at the end of the process but the driving force in this process.
The Coalition had invited community members to attend the Needs Assessment Meeting being convened for the purpose of deciding how health care happens in lower Manhattan because we do not want this committee to turn into what happened with the Governor’s Task Force in which a small group of elected officials met without public input and the true information still missing about the financial reality and the problems with St. Vincent’s were not addressed in time.
While we will be unable to attend tomorrow’s meeting we have asked for a clear statement from this group about their process, and when the public will be allowed to participate and in what ways. We will also continue to attempt to engage this group and our elected and public officials in efforts to ensure the Coalition and the community is properly represented in the decisions regarding health care.