New York City Public Advocate and Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio announced a major milestone in the fight to prevent a Brooklyn hospital from closing.
De Blasio said Saturday he and some civic groups have secured a court order to maintain and monitor services at Long Island College Hospital. “There are some times in life when you get to say simply that this is a day to celebrate a victory,” said De Blasio.
State officials have said they can no longer support the institution in Cobble Hill, despite pleas from demonstrators.
De Blasio said the court order requires SUNY Downstate to restore staffing and services which were available as of July 19, including an active Emergency Department, Intensive Care Unit, inpatient medical beds, as well as laboratory, radiology, social work and pharmacy services.
He said the court has also appointed an ombudsman who will monitor SUNY’s compliance with court orders to maintain services, and serve as point of contact when violations are reported.
“Healthcare will not be denied to people who need it, and it’s time to recognize the city and state have to take responsibility for the healthcare needs of the people, and stop looking the other way,” adds De Blasio.
The hospital has been part of the community for more than 150 years.
The real estate is probably worth a half-billion dollars, and many residents are concerned the hospital land will become condos.
A SUNY spokesperson says they are complying with the court ruling, and will continue to work towards a settlement.
Community members are also fighting to save the Interfaith Medical Center in Bedford-Stuyvesant, which is scheduled to close in October.