They’ve been on the front lines of responding to the hurricane. But today over 50 nurses, doctors, EMTs, and other healthcare professionals took their case to the steps of New York City Hall.
The healthcare professionals warned of a growing crisis in New York’s healthcare infrastructure – with major hospitals like Coney Island and Bellevue shut down for months, and thousands still trapped in their homes with urgent medical needs.
In a meeting following the rally, representatives from the Mayor’s office agreed to immediately increase their coordination with volunteers on the ground in Staten Island, Coney Island, and the Rockaways.
“The response from city, state, and federal officials falls short of meeting the needs of New Yorkers,” said Judy Sheridan-Gonzalez, RN. “Urgent action and greater coordination are needed to help thousands of people in desperate need.”
“New York nurses are ready, willing, and able to join teams from the Mayor’s office to provide medical care in the field,” said Gonzalez, the First Vice President of NYSNA.
Nurses were joined by doctors from Physicians for a National Health Program, public health nurses from AFSCME Local 436, volunteers from the People’s Medical Relief, and volunteers from the Occupy movement.
“There’s a real problem with access to healthcare. It took two days to get Wall Street back up and running, but they can’t tell us how long it will take to get Bellevue back up,” said Anne Bové, RN, the president of NYSNA’s HHC Executive Council.
“They made a Herculean effort to rebuild Wall Street. They need to make the same Herculean effort to reopen Bellevue and Coney Island Hospitals,” Bové said.
The New York State Nurses Association is the voice for nursing in the Empire State. With more than 37,000 members, it is New York’s largest professional association and union for registered nurses. The association represents registered nurses, and some all-professional bargaining units, in New York and New Jersey. It supports nurses and nursing practice through education, research, legislative advocacy, and collective bargaining.