As Roosevelt Island’s Goldwater Hospital prepares to close its doors at the end of next year, partly to make room for Cornell’s forthcoming tech campus, city health officials are tasked with shuffling its 800 patients to other hospitals, rehabilitation centers and housing facilities throughout the five boroughs. But according to DNAinfo the fate of roughly half of those patients is still uncertain.
Goldwater opened in 1939 as the first public hospital devoted to chronic diseases. Upon its closure, approximately 365 patients in need of the most serious care will be moved to a renovated space in Harlem’s former North General Hospital. But for patients who want some semblance of independence, or who are undocumented immigrants, there is no clear destination.
The city’s Health and Hospitals Corporation is working with private developers to build 171 affordable apartments on the Metropolitan Hospital campus at Second Avenue and 99th Street that could house Goldwater patients who are citizens and can secure federal subsidies to rent apartments. Still, there won’t be enough apartments to accommodate everyone, and Goldwater patients that were mostly able to function on their own fear they’ll have to enter nursing homes.
Advocates say that with so much in flux, the hospital’s closure could result in drastically different — and in many cases, worse — care for longtime Goldwater patients. [DNAinfo]