Safety net hospitals – or hospitals outside the city's network of public hospital - will see a financial boost following the $33 million added to the COVID-19 Hospital Loan Fund by the city, via a public-private partnership with Goldman Sachs.
The Adams’ administration is also fueling the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and Health + Hospitals with $111 million towards staffing needs.
“Often, we forget about the safety net hospitals, they play a vital role in ensuring that there is a net that people can safely know they’re not going to fall through the systems,” Adams added. “These hospitals outside of our H+H network have been on the frontlines of COVID, and I see it every day as I move throughout the city.
“This is 2022, not 2020, and New Yorkers should be confident that we are stepping up the fight against the Omicron surge to keep them safe,” said Adams. “This plan will ensure our frontline healthcare heroes have the resources they need to address staffing shortages, and continue providing top-quality care to every person who walks through their doors.”
Adams says these loans have already assisted in funding 2,400 safety net hospital staff, who have in turn served over 26,000 patients. The Hospital Loan Fund was established by and is operated by the New York City Economic Development Corporation.
“Overall, COVID-19 hospitalizations in New York City are currently less than half of what they were during our initial spring 2020 wave, though they have surpassed what we’ve seen in other waves,” said Dr. Dave Chokshi, commissioner of the Health Department. “When we look at the total COVID and non-COVID census, it has been stable over the past month, about 75 to 80 percent of all hospital beds across New York City are occupied right now and that number we do expect to increase in the coming days.”
Health + Hospitals CEO Mitchell Katz says that the incoming $111 million will be used towards hiring additional staff, doctors, nurses, radiology technicians and microbiologists.
“There’s nothing about being a nurse or doctor that makes you immune to omicron, and many of us have fallen down because of omicron, but we get ourselves back up and we come back to work after our isolation period,” said Katz. “This additional staff will make a huge difference and we’re incredibly grateful.”