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3 New York City hospitals remain closed after Sandy

November 14, 2012 3:19:51 AM PST
Weeks after they lost power and were evacuated during Hurricane Sandy, three prominent New York hospitals are still operationally flat lining.

It could be weeks more before they're even on life support and able to take care of patients.

Two weeks after the storm crippled NYU Langone Medical Center, massive pumps still try and dry it out.

Huge generators provide only minimal power for repair crews and research projects, but the hospital is still closed and it may cost a billion dollars to get the city's top academic medical center back to full strength.

It was nightmare on a night filled with them: the hospital evacuated, critically ill patients carried out and transferred in 60 mile an hour winds, and it was a scene repeated right down the street at Bellevue Medical Center.

Neither facility is up and running yet, both are still mostly dark and they may not be fully operational until next year.

And the tab at the two city hospitals will be over $300 million. So what about all those patients?

"You have to look at what resources are available, and as with anything you are going to triage those things that are emergent as opposed to those things that are elective reserve, as in you don't have to do them right away," said Ann Bove, Union Rep. HOC Hospitals.

Senator Charles Schumer toured NYU this week and saw the massive losses there.

MRI scanners and high tech surgical machines lost, whole floors tuned to rubble and debris.

It is a healthcare crisis that nobody thought possible, until it happened.

"We're going to go forward assuming that this could happen again next year when we hit the next hurricane season, so that's going to require an enormous amount of work to reposition, systems at the heart of our facilities to make sure that we can get through this the next time without going through as much turmoil as we have this time," said Alan Aviles, President of HHC.

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