As I reflect on how New York City’s health problems can be solved, I am savoring the remarks of a new Mayor with ideas to make healthcare accessible and affordable for all New Yorkers.
I believe there is a 21st Century answer to our healthcare concerns. New York City has vast resources including the most talented people, strong governmental structures, sophisticated labor unions, leading academic institutions, quality hospitals, and a generous community.
This network, with inspired leadership, can engage in a cooperative effort that will create healthcare programs that work. Pilot programs, if successful, can be expanded citywide.
How do we convey a positive health message, especially about diet and exercise, to the youth and aging population and help them make educated decisions to improve their health?
We are currently striving to manage chronic disease pandemics like obesity, diabetes, and mental disease in overcrowded hospital emergency rooms. Prevention is a necessity. Neighborhood care can be enhanced. Physical education and quality nutrition must be emphasized in schools. Health professionals deserve support, as do patients, in addressing insurance coverage issues.
We need to understand the challenges and build synergies as we seek to engage the public and private sectors.
New York City has the resources, the incentive, and the spirit to generate successful Healthcare Partnerships. The New York City Health Department can become a moving force in this interdisciplinary team effort.
I wish to add the Greek-American community, led by the physicians among them, can also make great contributions to this endeavor.
(Dr. Spyros Mezitis is President of the Federation of Hellenic Medical Societies)