New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the NYC Care program will expand to Queens and Manhattan four months ahead of schedule in order to help fight health care disparities exposed by Covid-19.
De Blasio said the virus taught “painful lessons” on disparity and lack of equality in the city, adding that Covid-19 did “horrific” damage in communities of color.
The approximately $37.5 million expansion is expected to reach 54,000 residents – with 44,000 in Queens and 10,000 in Manhattan.
The program provides access to low-cost and no-cost primary care for those who are ineligible or can’t afford insurance.
It currently is serving the Bronx, Brooklyn and Staten Island.
The program is part of the ongoing city’s initiative to guarantee health care for everyone regardless of immigration status, according to previous CNN reporting on the health care initiative.
The city will hire 26 providers to ensure a new primary care appointment in two weeks.
There is a strong focus on mental health as well, De Blasio said.
His wife, first lady Chirlane McCray, said NYC will reach 10,000 residents in the hardest hit neighborhoods from July to December working with 270 frontline community and faith-based organizations.
The city will deliver one-hour virtual trainings on mental health and disaster response and coping mechanisms.
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