Maimonides Medical Center racks up patient complaints

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Care at Maimonides Medical Center in Borough Park has gotten so bad that a father said his wife practically had to give birth on her own.

The mother rang three unanswered rings at the understaffed hospital last month as she felt the baby was about to arrive, said the Borough Park man who did not want to be identified.

“She started shouting, ‘Go get a nurse. The baby comes out, the baby comes out!’ “, remembers the man.

By the time his mother-in-law, who was in the hospital room with the couple, was able to get help, the baby was halfway there, he said.

“The nurse came, she was quite shocked,” says the dad.

The baby was healthy but “things could have gone very, very wrong,” he added.

The family’s experience was among nearly 1,000 complaints gathered by the Save Maimonides campaign, a grassroots effort launched last month to address what it claims is neglect and mismanagement at the 711-bed hospital.

The 711-bed hospital faced serious staffing problems.

“The feedback we’re getting from the streets is that this hospital is failing,” said Mendy Reiner, a Save Maimonides leader. “I would just go to the roof and shout, ‘Guys. Government. Whoever it is. Come in and save this hospital.’”

In addition to staffing shortages, patient concerns include lack of air conditioning.

“It’s like a sauna,” says a doula who helps mothers give birth in Maimonides and elsewhere. She said she tries to convince some to give birth in different hospitals where they have a “nice experience”.

“Why do we have to go through this? ” she says.

A hospital announcement shared on Instagram belies ongoing problems at the hospital.
A hospital announcement shared on Instagram belies ongoing problems at the hospital.

The state health department said it was investigating a complaint about air conditioning.

The hospital, which serves many members of the Orthodox Jewish community where people tend to have large families, has one of the busiest maternity wards in the state. There were 6,380 births there in 2021, compared to 7,816 in 2019, according to state data.

Maimonides also racked up 139 active Buildings Department violations, many of them for his elevators. The hospital and its related entities have accrued $29,670 in unpaid fines for various infractions, including an unregistered generator, according to city records.

The hospital said it was actively dealing with DOB violations and had brought in mobile coolers to provide additional cooling.

“Our technicians continue to work around the clock to ensure that we maintain temperature levels as comfortable as possible in hospital facilities, and conditions have improved in affected areas,” the chief operating officer said. Michael Antoniades.

After a group of local elected officials castigated the care at Maimonides last month, the hospital tweeted a call to the Jewish community showing a model in Hasidic attire that read, “For Brooklyn, in Brooklyn” and “Stand with Maimo.”

Community leaders denounced it and it was quickly removed.

The struggling hospital treats around 300,000 patients a year.
The struggling hospital treats around 300,000 patients a year.
Paul Martinca

“It’s like a white man putting on a black face,” said Borough Park podcaster Yosef Rapaport. “It doesn’t take a second to see that this is some kind of mockery.”

Rapaport was treated at Maimonides for COVID-19 in 2020 and says he spent almost two days in the emergency room where he was virtually ignored.

“As soon as they found out I was some sort of public figure, I got the royal treatment. It’s even worse in my eyes on management. It shouldn’t be like this,” he said. he says.

A hospital representative said the Hasidic image was “posted by mistake” and she issued an apology.

“We are proud that each year more than 300,000 patients trust us with their care, and we actively seek and use patient feedback to continue to make improvements. spokeswoman Stephanie Baez said, noting that the hospital could not comment on specific patient complaints.

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