The US healthcare system is in a poor state. Worker shortages, rising costs, decreasing levels of care and safety and uneven access are impacting people across the country. One area that bucks the trend is New York City, with progressive policies and views. As CNN highlights, growth has been sacrificed, in a noble move, to promote improved healthcare, as the city fights the challenge of increasing demand. Aware of these issues, and wanting to continue to represent the global city of today and the future, NYC has focused on three key areas – dentistry, nursing, and healthcare worker rights – to provide high quality care.
Improving dental care
Americans are struggling when it comes to dental healthcare. The Guardian estimates that 74 million Americans are uninsured, and even where covered, there’s insufficient availability of high quality care. NYC, given its density and wealth, hosts a huge amount of excellent quality dentists in all boroughs of the city, from Manhattan through to Long Island. The work and availability is there. Now, with community programs, such as the Manhattan art gallery Smile Design, Spectrum News NY1 have highlighted just how those without cover, insurance and otherwise, are getting the care they require. Dental health is a window into overall health, which has been deteriorating as a whole across the USA in recent years. NYC is taking a front foot on reversing that trend and making the city stand out.
Improving nursing standards
For all of its attempts to improve healthcare, NYC will be impacted by the same issues that the nation is facing as a whole. PBS notes that the nursing strikes that have hit NYC hospitals through 2022 and into 2023 are indicative of wider issues, and progress needs to hit the city to get ahead of the curve. As with other progressive states, like California, there has been a concerted effort from the state to give a fair deal – two hospitals in particular have made a deal on much better pay and conditions, affirming the importance of staff in the city.
Healthcare worker rights
Progressive as it is, NYC has been hit with some issues that they had previously focused on. Key among these concerns vaccine rights; in October, Forbes noted that the state was forced to cancel state healthcare worker mandates concerning vaccines, putting the city back in line with other areas of the country. These are important rights, and finding a balance is crucial. NYC has shown that it is putting effort into making that balance; finding the right mix of safety and comfort for employees that makes the city better and safer for everybody.
NYC has the fundamental infrastructure for great healthcare – but it needs to pay attention to national and international trends. Finding what works for other cities, and ensuring that progressivism underpins every change and improvement in process impacting the city. That’ll make it safer and healthier for residents and tourists alike.