Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

Healthcare Profits: Montefiore Hospital Closes Bronx Center while Opening Boutique Clinic in Manhattan

Montefiore Hospital System is set to close a primary care center in the Bronx and open a boutique clinic in Manhattan, and healthcare workers are fighting back. We need a healthcare system controlled by workers and patients — not bosses.

Mike Pappas

July 28, 2022
Facebook Twitter Share

Montefiore Hospital System is set to close its Family Health Center (FHC) at 1 Fordham Plaza which has provided primary care to a community in the Bronx for over 30 years. At the same time, Montefiore is slated to open a large, upscale primary care clinic for wealthy patients living around Hudson Yards. This is healthcare under capitalism: shut down primary care in poor areas serving patients of color and instead open more profitable centers in wealthy areas serving predominantly white patients. 

The FHC has been providing primary care services to over tens of thousands of low-income residents in the surrounding community, most of whom are Black and Brown/Latinx. The center also is one of the primary training locations of the Family Medicine department’s Family and Social Medicine Residency outpatient training program. Montefiore claims it is just “relocating” the clinic to a surrounding site over 2.5 miles away, but the hospital system has tried to keep this information under wraps — they know there is no space where they are relocating. In reality, they are shutting down the primary care clinic and replacing it with a more profitable, non-teaching internal medicine practice and pediatrics primary care clinic.

This decision comes after Montefiore’s corporate leadership hired McKinsey & Company (the company that advised Purdue Pharma around how to “turbocharge” opioid sales and helped fuel the opioid crisis) to make recommendations for increasing profits. The shutdown is part of a new plan to close clinics in areas like the Bronx and consolidate them. 

While Montefiore shuts down primary care clinics in the Bronx, the hospital is rushing to open them for the wealthy in Hudson Yards in Manhattan. A recent job listing on their website boasts that “this brand new, state-of-the-art 10,000 square foot office offers 12 examination rooms, X-ray and ultrasound services and a fully experienced staff.” So, Montefiore has the finances to expand services into Hudson Yards, but peculiarly has to shut down one of its largest primary care centers in the Bronx. 

Under capitalism, hospital systems like Montefiore throughout the U.S. continually try to find ways to shut down centers of care that are deemed “less profitable” and instead open centers that will make more money. This is part of a process of finding ways to extract the greatest monetary value from bodies and communities damaged by capitalism. At the same time, this creates more disjointed and poorer care overall for the most marginalized patients. It’s no surprise that under this racist economic system, the patients most harmed are Black and Brown patients of color. 

Montefiore’s recent plan is not exclusive to this hospital system. The decision comes at a time when Kings County Hospital failed in its attempt to close its gynecology service which provided care to predominantly women of color in Brooklyn.

And let’s be clear: this is happening in a city and state where Democrats hold office. These are the same Democrats who pretend to care about public health, yet are letting primary care clinics that provide healthcare to tens of thousands to be shut down by hospital systems like Montefiore that, for all their flowery language about community, always put their bottom line over health and life. This is healthcare under capitalism.

Montefiore’s actions also come at a time when New York City is actively closing its public Covid testing sites, even as highly contagious variants spread. It comes at a time when not just the New York City state government, but the federal government and healthcare system more generally, are completely failing to address the ongoing spread of Monkeypox. If we had a healthcare system in the U.S. that actually prioritized health and well being, we would be opening more and better centers for primary care, not closing them down.

Healthcare workers and community members must fight back against this plan and demand that FHC remain a primary care center for patients in the Bronx community. At Kings County, the only reason the attempt was thwarted was because of healthcare-worker and community resistance. As a result, the hospital not only kept the department, but hired a new gynecologist. Similar resistance from healthcare workers and community members can help fight Montefiore’s plans. 

The community has already started to organize, recently releasing a petition about the planned closing, along with a toolkit about how to get involved called the #SaveFHC Toolkit.

Whether it is Montefiore trying to shut down primary care clinics for poor residents of the Bronx, Kings County trying to cut gynecology programs for poor people in Brooklyn, or healthcare systems continually failing to meet community needs, these instances only underscore how broken healthcare is under capitalism. Healthcare workers and patients must make the decisions about how the healthcare system runs, not corporate hospital executives or capitalist politicians.

Facebook Twitter Share

Mike Pappas

Mike is an activist and medical doctor working in New York City.

Labor Movement

CUNY workers at a demonstration hold a banner that reads "STRIKE TO SAVE CUNY."

CUNY Workers Launch New Strike Campaign

As Governor Hochul proposes another $528 million in cuts, workers at the City University of New York are fighting back.

Olivia Wood

February 12, 2024
With the U.S Capitol in the background, demonstrators rally during the March on Washington for Gaza at Freedom Plaza in Washington, Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024.

AFL-CIO’s Ceasefire Call Shows Power of the Movement for Palestine

The AFL-CIO has called for a ceasefire in Israel’s genocidal assault on Gaza. The labor movement must go further for Palestinian liberation and break with the bipartisan regime.

Otto Fors

February 11, 2024

After Historic Strike, UAW Bureaucrats Sit By as Stellantis Lays Off Hundreds of Workers

Only a few months after a historic contract struggle and strike, Stellantis announced job cuts in early December that have begun and will continue to take effect this month. A reminder that under capitalism the only way for workers to get what they need is self-organization, independent of the union bureaucracy, Democrats and Republicans.

Emma Boyhtari

February 2, 2024
Joe Biden and Shawn Fain, UAW president, standing on a stage together. UAW has endorsed Biden for president.

The UAW’s Endorsement of “Genocide Joe” Is a Betrayal of Palestinians and Workers

The UAW has endorsed “Genocide Joe” for president, betraying Palestinians and workers. It’s time for labor to break with the Democrats.

Otto Fors

January 29, 2024

MOST RECENT

The Organic Crisis in 2024: This Year’s Election Is a Battle for the Hearts and Minds of U.S. Workers

The battle between Trump and Biden is being shaped by a crisis of the political regime, requiring the intervention of both the judiciary and the union bureaucracy. The battle for the presidency is a battle for the working class and a battle over which approach to imperialism is best for competing with China and reestablishing US hegemony. As usual, the Democrats are taking up the cudgel of democratic rights in order to rally disaffected voters.

Sybil Davis

February 23, 2024

The Tide Is Turning: New Yorkers Are Speaking Out for Palestinian Liberation

The Jewish community of New York City has long been loyal to Zionism. But attitudes are shifting rapidly, and many are taking to the streets for Palestinian liberation 

Ana Orozco

February 23, 2024

The United States Is Trapped in the Middle East

As a result of Israel’s offensive on Gaza, the United States is again becoming deeply entrenched in the Middle East. This is a humiliating blow to President Biden, who promised to reassert U.S. imperialism by moving away from direct involvement in the region.

Samuel Karlin

February 22, 2024

With Rafah in the Crosshairs, the Working Class Can Stop the Genocide in Gaza

As Israel prepares an invasion of Rafah, workers’ organizations around the world must take action before it's too late.

James Dennis Hoff

February 21, 2024