Hospitals: Crisis at Boston City

HOSPITALS Like many of its patients, Boston City Hospital is old, impoverished and badly in need of rehabilitation. Paint peels from sagging walls. Windows are smashed throughout the complex of 34 buildings, and the heating system is so antiquated that some wards must be shut down entirely in winter because the temperature cannot be pushed above 40°. The ill-ventilated, six-story maternity wing, where 3,500 babies are born each year, does not have a single bath or shower. Sighs Staff Physician William V. McDermott: "This is a hell of a way to run a hospital."

The hospital's patient services are as...