Montefiore ER Nurse: “It looks like a refugee camp in a war zone”

Councilman Ritchie Torres is calling for an investigation into Montefiore Hospital as staff and nurses are calling out the institution’s terrible practices.

According to staff, Montefiore places patients insured by Medicaid, essentially the poorest of the poor and most vulnerable, into crowded hallways awaiting treatment.

This is an extremely disturbing account on The Bronx’s largest employer as the hospital is entrenched in every corner of our borough.

The Daily News reports:

Sickly patients packed into rooms like sardines. Psych patients attacking harried hospital staffers. Nurses forced to treat up to 12 critically ill children at the same time.

The Montefiore Medical Center emergency units are often dangerously overcrowded and unruly — imperiling the lives of the ailing Bronx residents who flock there, nurses told the Daily News.

“It looks like a refugee camp in a war zone,” said nurse Benny Matthew, 41, who works at the main Moses Campus’ ER in the Norwood section of the Bronx. “I’m from India. Even if I go to an emergency room in my country, I don’t see things like this.”

Over at the New York Post they write:

Montefiore Medical Center is an “entrenched, arrogant bureaucracy” that offers “substandard” emergency care to Bronx patients, a city lawmaker railed Saturday as he demanded a probe into the long wait times and overcrowding that plague the sprawling hospital network.

Montefiore — which operates three emergency rooms in the borough — routinely subjects patients to “interminable” waits, only to treat them in crowded hallways due to a chronic shortage of beds, Councilman Ritchie Torres told The Post on Saturday.

It’s time they are held accountable, he said.

“Why are we relegating vulnerable patients to cramped and crowded hallways, where the risk of infection is high and there’s no privacy for interviews and physical exams and toileting — and there’s constant light and noise that prevents you from sleeping?” asked Torres.

Montefiore’s high-volume Bronx outposts are the largest recipient of city Medicaid dollars, Torres said.

Not only are they the largest employer in our borough but they are also the largest recipient of Medicaid funds in The Bronx.

This is the problem with hospitals and the health care industry when it’s about dollars and profits and not patient-centered care.

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Ed García Conde

Ed García Conde is a life-long Bronxite who spends his time documenting the people, places, and things that make the borough a special place in the hopes of dispelling the negative stereotypes associated with The Bronx. His writings are often cited by mainstream media and is often consulted for his expertise on the borough's rich history.