Good morning. Today marks the 1000th day before the new Millenium.
To launch the countdown to the year 2,000, I'll be conducting a 1,000 piece brass and percussion band in the "The Stars and Stripes Forever" in Times Square. This event marks the first in a series of celebrations to kick off our plans for ringing in the new Millenium.
With this milestone just 1,000 days away, the City is working very hard to move New York City in the right direction. To that end, we are already replacing a culture of unaccountability with a culture of performance. And this new philosophy has met with very, very good results.
You're, I'm sure, familiar with the accomplishments of the New York Police Department in reducing crime in New York City in the last three years, more than any other city in America. And you're familiar with the turnaround in our welfare system with 240,000 fewer people on welfare than two years ago at this time; and the recent reforms and breakthroughs in our public education system. But this morning I'd like to talk with you about what our City is doing to improve the public hospital system.
A few years ago the public hospital system in New York City was in great distress. Medicaid recipients and the uninsured had few options for health care, and almost no options for primary care. The less fortunate were forced to crowd emergency rooms for basic, routine care or preventable illness.
In 1993 the public hospital system had a net loss of over $280 million and from 1990 through 1993 only six of the 11 public hospitals received their three-year accreditation on time.
Today we've turned a good deal of this around in the public hospital system and moved it in a positive and decent direction. The City has restructured the Health and Hospitals Corporation so that for the first time in its 26-year history, HHC ended Fiscal 1996 with a positive balance of $143 million and all 11 of its hospitals have now received timely three-year accreditation.
In fact, the quality of care has really never been better in HHC. For example, in the area of childhood immunizations, all HHC facilities reported over 95% compliance rates for the first quarter of Fiscal '97.
By the year 2000, our priority is to have many more New Yorkers seek the medical assistance they need in their communities, not in overcrowded emergency rooms. With that goal in mind, we've taken steps to substantially expand the primary care capacity.
Through the Primary Care Development Corporation, local community groups are building 28 new primary care clinics in the city's neediest neighborhoods.
By the year 2,000, that will mean nearly one million more primary care visits every year in New York City.
The existence of primary care facilities will result in a much better health care situation for people in New York City. A health care situation based on education and prevention, emphasizing prenatal care, childhood immunizations, dental care and routine health screenings.
We've already made great headway in improving the quality and access to care, and in expanding primary care for those in need in our city. Through our joint efforts, the entire health care system is well on its way to becoming better and stronger and more effective.From Gracie Mansion, this is Rudy Giuliani.