September 14, 2013
By Stephanie West
Brooklyn, NY—Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, the New York State Nurses Association, 1199SEIU, Concerned Physicians at L.I.C.H. and six Brooklyn civic groups have won a decisive decision in their lawsuits to keep Long Island College Hospital open. The decision issued Thursday Sepember 12th by State Supreme Court Justice Johnny Lee Baynes, invalidates the closure plan for Long Island College Hospital, assuring the facility will remain open for care.
The decision went even further, requiring rules on closing hospitals be rewritten before further hospital closings can take place. This change, sought by health care professionals will prevent free-fall closures that fail to protect community-level health care, and will protect hospitals from real estate developers and other predatory interests. For hospitals like Interfaith Medical Center, which was granted an additional reprieve earlier this week, the Baynes decision gives further time to restructure and avert closure.
According to a report released this summer by de Blasio, 75,000 Brooklynites depend on L.I.C.H. as their nearest emergency room—including 12,000 residents over the age of 60.
“We set out to save this hospital. And we are closer than ever. Justice Baynes’ ruling won’t just protect health care in this corner of Brooklyn—it will protect community hospitals across New York City from falling prey to luxury condo developers,” said Public Advocate Bill de Blasio. “After years of seeing one hospital close after another, we have finally turned a corner.”