By Kevin Deutsch
Doctors treating coronavirus patients at BronxCare Health System are working without protective shields and gowns, leading to multiple physicians contracting the disease, Bronx Justice News has learned.
A physician for BronxCare, formerly Bronx Lebanon Hospital, said the shortage of personal protective equipment at the system’s main facility on Grand Concourse is risking the lives of doctors in an already overloaded system, and that a staffing shortage has left each nurse treating eleven COVID-19 patients at a time.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, because they could face disciplinary action for speaking publicly about conditions at the hospital, the physician highlighted the fact that Miguel Fuentes, Jr., BronxCare Health System’s president and CEO, earned roughly $2 million in compensation last year, even as the hospital failed to stock up on basic protective gear.
Fuentes, who has helmed the system for decades, routinely rakes in multi-million dollar annual earnings. In 2008 alone, he took home $4.8 million, according to reports, and earned another $1.7 million in 2015.
BronxCare, the city’s largest voluntary, not-for-profit health and teaching hospital system, took its new name following a deadly mass shooting in 2017, during which a deranged ex-doctor at the facility killed and wounded victims on multiple floors.
Corruption and mismanagement ran rampant at the hospital even before the shooting, according to the New York Post, which reported the system was subject of a federal corruption probe; that mobsters controlled construction of its new outpatient center; and some doctors were allegedly offered per-patient bounties to drum up clinic business.
Calls to a phone number listed as the system’s media line went unanswered Tuesday.