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Remember all the controversy Lenox Hill Hospital attracted when it catered to Beyoncé and Jay-Z's birth plans with the poshest, most exclusive maternity suite we'd ever heard of? Other patients complained that the suite kept them from visiting their own newborns.
Well, you'd think Lenox Hill execs would be re-thinking the whole luxury maternity suite idea, but nope! They've spent millions to build new "executive" rooms for wealthy expectant moms. Rooms with names like the "Beyoncé Room," the "Park Ave. Studio," and the "Premium Deluxe" room. And the hospital nurses are pissed. They say the new fancy rooms put all the other patients and babies at risk -- 1 percenters birthing in luxury at the 99 percent's expense!
According to hospital regulations, each nurse is supposed to care for no more than eight babies in the nursery at a time. But nurses are claiming they've been left alone with up to 18 babies at a time while the rest of the nurse staff gets pulled for high-rolling, high-priority families. Babies in the executive suites get one-on-one nurse care.
Nurses are outraged. Speaking anonymously in fear of retaliation, one nurse says, "It's incredibly stressful. You have too many babies. You can't do all you need to do for them."
"Go ahead and make money," says another nurse. "But don't make money and the expense of everyone else."
The luxury rooms go for anywhere from $850 to $2,400 a night -- or $5,250 a night for the Beyoncé Room. Zoiks! They're loaded with boutique hotel-style amenities like concierge services, fine linens, and flat-screen TVs. But most costly, I'm sure, is that one-on-one nurse care.
It's kind of gross -- the idea of some moms birthing in splendor while the rest of us birth in shared rooms. But to put babies' health in danger because you're redistributing your labor unfairly? That's so much worse. Lenox Hill execs claim no babies are being put in danger because of the new rooms. But if nurses are complaining, you know something's up. Honestly, if they're going to charge people up the wazoo for a posh labor "experience," you need to hire additional staff! Not stretch your existing staff beyond the point of safety.
What do you think of the idea of "Beyoncé" rooms for affluent patients?
Image via Hollywood_PR/Flickr