[preamble]Lets think intelligently here – Coney Island Hospital has effectively been closed since Storm Sandy – about 5 months – has there been an increase in deaths? Patient problems? People screaming that they are not getting care? NO. hence, its safe to assume that the closure of hospitals is not as detrimental to us as we are made to believe. It seems the unions and people making monmey off them are the largest group against closures. Perhaps we have 2 many hospitals now. Perhaps some need to be closed and the assets moved to other areas. Its interesting that ANY cost saving measure or threat of closure of any facility (fire houses, parks) is met with opposition. However it seems these op-posers are not telling us the truth.
My opinion is we can close these failing institutions and be just as well off. People adapt far faster than we are made to believe. I say let Brooklyn hospital close, stop pumping money int failed institutions that are poorly managed – don’t worry we will survive and maybe better off. Did the deat toll rise after St Vincents closed? NOPE! But the unions lost money – that we cant have.[backtopost]
Long Island College Hospital in will be kept open for now as battle over Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, facility heads to court May 2.
By Barbara Benson
Long Island College Hospital won a small legal victory when a Brooklyn judge Monday agreed to stop all closure activity for one month, until a court hearing on May 2.
This is the second time the Brooklyn hospital, overseen by the State University of New York and owned by SUNY Downstate Medical Center, has had its life extended by a temporary restraining order. A Feb. 21 order kept the hospital open and prohibited SUNY officials from communicating with the state Department of Health about its closure plan.
Hospital supporters had argued that SUNY Downstate officials disregarded the state’s open meetings law when they first voted during a closed executive session in February to close Long Island College Hospital.
SUNY officials complied with the court’s interpretation of the open meetings law, and met on March 19 to again vote to close LICH.
This second restraining order was granted on the basis of a new legal action filed March 29 by LICH doctors, represented by Arnold & Porter; the New York State Nurses Association, represented by Cohen Weiss and Simon; and 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, represented by Levy Ratner.
The new action by LICH doctors, nurses and union members claim that SUNY’s decision to shut the Cobble Hill hospital was “arbitrary and capricious.”
It also crafts a legal argument based on the notion that New York state’s regulations for closing hospitals are too vague. Unlike the previous court effort, which focused on SUNY officials, this action also names the state Department of Health and Health Commissioner Dr. Nirav Shah.
Many New York City hospitals have closed in recent years, including St. Vincent’s Hospital in Greenwich Village. But this lawsuit seems to be the first that seeks to prevent a hospital closure based on the premise that the state’s closure laws themselves are inadequate.
“The regulations for establishing a hospital are very complex,” said Jeffrey Ruggiero, an Arnold & Porter partner representing LICH doctors. “But the closure regulations have none of those specifics. We find that confounding.”
He added: “We are confident we have a very strong case here.”