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Hospital Closures Stress New York Health System

Tue, 07/30/2013 - 11:01am

A nurse at New York Methodist Hospital has been slammed at every shift she's worked since Long Island College Hospital, two miles away, stopped accepting ambulances.

Instead of caring for between four and six patients, some nurses had more than 20, including those who needed intensive care, one nurse told ABC News on condition of anonymity. Emergency room patients endured waits up to seven hours just to see a doctor. Those who needed beds had to wait up to 24 hours at one point.

"You just have to ignore whoever can be ignored. It's really bad," she said. "I had a 75-year-old lady with pneumonia who was like, 'Forget it. I'm just going to leave.' We have lots and lots of walkouts."

The controversial LICH closure, which health workers, unions, and politicians have fought for months with protests and lawsuits, appears to finally be coming to fruition.

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