Report finds Newark one of 13 cities hit hard by health care woes
Newark is the canary in the coal mine in the national heath care crisis. The struggles Newarkers experience now will be felt across the nation as rising costs and a growing number of uninsured weigh on the current infrastructure.
Newark, which has seen two acute-care hospitals close this year alone, is one of 13 cities included in the report, which is likely to be used as a rallying cry for help to the new administration in Washington, D.C. City mayors want major health care reform to be a top priority of the new president, saying they will otherwise be forced to make cuts in other basic city services, such as police and fire protection, schools and parks.
Newark has been affected by the closing this year of Columbus and Saint James hospitals, which has put a strain on city clinics that offer services ranging from pediatrics and infectious disease treatment to dental care, officials said.
“We’re very stretched,” said Maria Vizcarrondo, director of the city’s Department of Child and Family Well-Being. She said the city is looking for alternative funding sources to keep afloat a voucher program that helps residents who cannot afford their prescriptions.