August 1, 2013
By Stephanie West
New York, NY — With two Brooklyn hospitals facing closure this summer, and more teetering on the brink, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio released a plan to prevent the loss of more community hospitals. In his plan, “Saving Brooklyn’s Health Care,” de Blasio calls for the creation of a Brooklyn Health Authority, with sweeping powers to transform hospitals to sustain them for the long haul.
Brooklyn’s freestanding neighborhood hospitals are some of the oldest and most financially strained in the city, with high levels of publicly insured patients, and many falling prey to internal mismanagement. Each hospital that closes leaves Brooklynites farther from the nearest primary care doctor.
deBlasio has recommended the creating of a Brooklyn Health Authority appointed by the Mayor and the Governor to coordinate spending of health dollars, drive down costs by helping Brooklyn’s small hospitals negotiate as a collective, and push for higher care standards.
“Community hospitals in Brooklyn are standing on the brink. If we don’t act, real estate developers will turn these critical health care facilities into luxury condos for the wealthy, while some of the poorest neighborhoods in the city will lose their emergency rooms, clinics and doctors. These battles—L.I.C.H, Interfaith and all those coming in the months ahead—are all parts of a bigger whole. We need a plan that keeps the doors of Brooklyn’s hospitals open for the long haul,” said Public Advocate Bill de Blasio.