The old adage “money talks and bullsh*t walks” has never failed. Case in point, Manhattan’s Lenox Hill Hospital, which was propelled in to the limelight after pop star Beyonce delivered daughter, Blue Ivy, there earlier this year. Reportedly star struck with all of the publicity they garnered, now the hospital is being criticized by its nurses who allege that the babies who don’t have the luxury to be born in the executive suites receive substandard health care because the hospital is putting its resources in to Moms with the means, according to the NY Daily News.
Ever since Lenox Hill Hospital decided to invest in posh executive suites that are housed two floors below the common maternity ward earlier this year, nurses allege that the care and attention to newborns of regular Moms has diminished. Reportedly called the “Beyonce Room,” the “Park Ave. Studio,” and the “premium deluxe,” these executive suites (partly pictured above), with full-service, can be had for $1,750 a night — if you can afford to birth like Beyonce — and $1,400 a night for the premium rooms. If your pocket isn’t deep enough, though, a Mother also has the option of paying for the cheapest of the deluxe rooms, “deluxe private,” at $850 a night.
Consequently, a Mother’s stay, which is usually three nights, could cost her up to $5,250 not including actual medical care costs.
The NY Daily News reports:
The “Beyoncé Room” … [has] blond wood floors, dark wood cabinets and cream-colored walls. The fourth-floor rooms feature better linens, plush terry cloth robes, a microwave, coffeemaker and two plasma screen TVs, according to one nurse.
What does this have to do with the other newborns two floors up?
By contract, nurses are only allowed to take care of eight babies at a time. At Lenox Hill, two nurses are supposed to be on-duty caring for up to 18 babies. When a well-heeled Mother goes in to labor, though, one of these nurses is reportedly ordered downstairs to give that Mom one-on-one care, meaning that the other nurse is left behind to manage all of those newborns by her lonesome.
Fed up, one nurse told the NY Daily News,”It’s incredibly stressful. You have too many babies. You can’t do all you need to do for them.”
Other nurses “have been saying they [hospital executives] don’t care about the 99 percent, they only care about the 1 percent.”
While the hospital denies that the executive suites have nicknames and denies leaving the common maternity ward shortstaffed, the New York Professional Nurses Union Chief of Staff Eileen Toback is reportedly threatening to strike if these practices don’t change.
“These units are incredibly busy and there are not enough nurses and ancillary staff,” Toback said. “The stress is that a whole other floor puts pressure on the ratios. And something has to give.”