Healthcare and the Pandemic
What Scott’s Done
The City has dropped the ball time and again in its response to COVID-19, with devastating consequences for New Yorkers. For as long as the pandemic continues, Scott Stringer will put science and public health first to stop the spread of the virus, get all New Yorkers vaccinated, and reopen our economy safely. And he’ll make the changes necessary to ensure that we are better prepared for the next crisis — and eradicate the health disparities that fueled COVID’s destructive path. Scott’s goal as mayor will be to make New York City the public health capital of the world, where the opportunity to live a healthy life is a right, shared equally by all New Yorkers, regardless of their background or ability to afford care.
Overhaul pandemic response and preparedness
- Fix the ongoing City response to Covid-19 with a comprehensive, well-managed citywide vaccination program in every neighborhood that ensures racial equity.
- Make sure we are better prepared for the next public health crisis by strengthening disease tracking systems, expanding emergency stockpiles, and enhancing trust of healthcare providers in marginalized communities.
- Catch up on routine and preventative care that people may have put off during the pandemic but is essential to staving off serious disease.
- Address the long-term impacts of the pandemic, including providing after-care to New Yorkers with “long-haul” COVID-19 ailments.
Fortify our public health infrastructure and expand access to care
- Build out a world class public health system by strengthening the City’s public health leadership and infrastructure — end the infighting and take a multi-agency approach to tackling pressing health challenges.
- Create a Chief Health Officer to align the public health vision of the City and oversee both the Department of Health and NYC Health + Hospitals (H+H), maximizing coordination and ending infighting.
- Ensure no New Yorker has to travel more than 20 minutes to access high-quality, primary health care by prioritizing the construction, refurbishment, or renovation of primary care facilities in all underserved neighborhoods, increasing insurance enrollment, and continuing telehealth innovation.
Create one standard of care for all New Yorkers
- Close health disparities and improve the social determinants of health by addressing neighborhood-level inequities and working across the agencies that influence social needs and social determinants of health, from housing and education to transportation and criminal justice.
- Improve quality of care for vulnerable populations including homeless or housing insecure New Yorkers, the currently and formerly incarcerated, and marginalized populations across the city.
- End our maternal mortality crisis by expanding prenatal outreach for at-risk mothers and investing in a workforce of doulas, community midwives, and maternal health workers.
- Double the City’s direct funding to supporting abortion care, expand LGTBQ+ affirming sexual and reproductive health care facilities, and create the City’s first-ever citywide Transgender Family and Medicine Center.
- Combat obesity and metabolic diseases with specific, sustained health investments to close gaps in care in communities with disproportionate rates of disease and low life expectancy.
- Slash air pollution and cut rates of asthma in environmental justice communities by retiring polluting power plants, reducing car traffic, and phasing out the use of noxious heating oil.
- Advocate for single-payer health care at the state and Federal level.
Refocus the city’s mental health and substance use care
- Expand access to mental health care and build a new mental health network in the place of ThriveNYC — one that coordinates across agencies, refocuses on people living with serious mental illness, and imposes strict accountability measures.
- Invest in identification, prevention, and intervention by expanding mental health services in our schools — tripling the number of social workers in our schools — as well as our public university and public hospital systems, and investing in Mental Health First Aid and Trauma-Informed Counseling.
- Transfer our mental health crisis response system from the NYPD to trained health-first crisis response teams and make New York City a leader on suicide prevention.
- Expand behavioral health supportive housing and create single points of access for individuals who need supportive housing, and build out a world-class telemental health service.
- Fight the opioid epidemic by investing in evidence-based prevention and harm reduction programs, linguistically- and culturally-competent education campaigns, and expanding HealingNYC, NYC Relay, and naloxone distribution.