We need the new City Health Centers in the Lower Northeast

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The Inquirer article HERE Debate continues over a new health center proposal in Northeast Philadelphia About 50 community members gathered Saturday in support and opposition to the construction of a new health center on the grounds of Friends Hospital.

Northeast Times article HERE City Councilwoman Quetcy Lozada, Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole and architect Seth Cohen spoke Saturday at a community meeting on a proposed district health center at Friends Hospital, 4641 Roosevelt Blvd. The crowd at Simpson Recreation Center was a mix of supporters and opponents of the plan.

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Philadelphia’s City Health Centers offer very low-cost health care to all residents of the city but are overcrowded. 

Two new Health Centers are included in the city budget in the lower Northeast, one at the Frankford Transportation Center (Bridge and Pratt) and one at the old Friends Hospital on Roosevelt Blvd near Langdon St.  They will provide over 35,000 patient visits a year, mostly at the Friends site.

There is opposition to the Health Center at the Friends Hospital site, despite the critical need for more capacity for the Health Centers.

We call for all elected officials to support the creation of the new City Health Centers, which are already part of the city budget to be completed in 2025.

Statistics on the uninsured-

11% of the US population was uninsured in 2022.

The White uninsured rate nationally was 7%, Black rate was 12% and Hispanic rate was 23%.

However, 30% of the unemployed were uninsured prior to the pandemic, as workers lose their jobs and cannot afford COBRA. 12% of employed workers were also uninsured.

City Health Centers make health care available to these uninsured workers.

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