The closing of Saint Mary Hospital will certainly have an adverse impact on our emergency service and general health concerns. Of course, many area residents will lose their jobs. To be sure, most hospitals are facing economic concerns due to the cost of the new technology required, the reduced payments by insurance carriers, the free services to the indigent and sometimes just plain lack of vision and good management.
On the other hand, the citizens of Hoboken deserve and warrant prompt and efficient services. There should be no need to be transported out of the City and to face the likely crowded conditions at other facilities. Unfortunately, we also have traffic congestion which can cause further delay. Additionally, the constant menace of terrorism dictates that we have strategically located medical facilities, and there is always the possibility of fire and natural disaster.
I am confident that the professional expertise of our residents, which include elected officials at almost every level of government, will be put to good use in solving this dilemma. I would be proud to serve on any task force initiated for this purpose.
Former Hoboken Fire Chief