As CEO of MediSys Health Network, David Rosen runs four city hospitals, which gives him some room to talk about swine flu. And he says the city isn’t doing shit to prepare for the anticipated second wave of H1N1 this fall. “We’re a week away from schools reopening and there’s been no discussion… I haven’t got any phone calls,” says Rosen. He also said that during the first swine flu wave, at Roosevelt Hospital, “663 people showed up in one day without so much as a call from the Health Department, and I’ve got a problem with that.”
It’s extraordinary that someone who collects such large checks from the city as Rosen would castigate it like this, and the Department of Health reacted severely to his remarks (“David Rosen doesn’t know what he’s talking about”). Either Rosen thought he was off the record, or he’s really trying to light a fire under the DOH’s ass. Maybe he thinks, as does the widow of one New York swine flu fatality, that the city has not focused enough of preparedness.
We’re not sure what else the city could do, though. They’ve already pledged to give free swine flu shots to schoolkids this month. What else should they do? Staff up the hospitals? Where’s the money for that?
Meanwhile Governor Paterson got started on a run of six swine flu town halls to assure citizens that Albany had its act together, at least in this regard.