Fertility Flight? NY Times, really?

The NY Times had an article, Birth Certificate, Brooklyn Address,  about how hospitals in Park Slope, Fort Greene and Cobble Hill have lost patients from who live in these neighborhoods, while four Manhattan hospitals’ birth rates have gone up 31% Manhattan. In truth, births have gone up in Brooklyn and Manhattan. But because a large potion of the Brooklyn births are coming from “non-affluent” neighborhoods, apparently they don’t count.

“Hospitals in or close to the affluent Brooklyn neighborhoods are not necessarily hurting. Births at New York Methodist Hospital, in the heart of Park Slope, soared by 40 percent in the 10-year period.”

“Yet, the numbers of births at Methodist to mothers from Park Slope, Boerum Hill and Carroll Gardens dropped over that time as more chose Manhattan; the hospital’s growth came from the black, West Indian and Lubavitcher neighborhoods in Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights; Latino and Satmar neighborhoods in Greenpoint and Williamsburg; and the West Indian, Haitian and blacks neighborhoods in East New York, Flatbush and East Flatbush.”

Putting aside the waft of racism (blacks, Latinos and orthodox Jews can’t be “affluent?), but the article doesn’t mention that women may choose OBs who are near their work (most likely Manhattan), and in its statistics from Methodist, it uses just the 11215 zip code (and not the surrounding zip codes 11217 and 11232) or the fact that they compare Methodist’s number of births with a the combined number of births of 4 Manhattan hospitals.

For what its worth, my son was delivered at Methodist, and the staff and facilities were excellent. But the reason we chose it was because my wife’s OB worked there. If she had privileges at NYU, our son would have been born there. It had nothing to do with borough loyalty.

I’m not sure what point they are trying to make other than to create some sort of animosity between Brooklyn (particularly “gentrified” Brooklyn) and Manhattan.  I expect this from Gothamist and Gawker, but from The Gray Lady?


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