BREAKING: State Health Department approves SUNY closure plan for LICH

July 19, 2013 Heather Chin
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The New York State Department of Health (DOH) has approved the State University of New York’s latest closure plan for Long Island College Hospital (LICH).

The plan includes selling LICH for hospital and/or real estate development, creating a Brooklyn hospital network, and streamlining SUNY Downstate’s teaching hospital at the University Hospital of Brooklyn.

A press conference and rally will be held by LICH supporters beginning at 3:45 p.m. at Hicks and Pacific Streets. The rally will likely continue for hours.

In response to the DOH’s approval, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio requested and was granted a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) by NYS Supreme Court Judge Johnny Lee Baynes, ordering SUNY to cease and desist:

“Pending hearing and determination by this court, [SUNY and SUNY Trustees] are hereby, effective immediately, restrained from taking an action or issuing any order that would interrupt, hamper, or curtail medical professionals duly employed by or working within LICH from providing medical care, including emergency medical services, to actual or prospective patients at LICH by taking any action, other than those based on existing medical standards of care, to (a) divert ambulances, (2) divert patients, (3) prevent or inhibit doctors or other medical professionals from using their best medical judgment in rendering patient care, (d) deprive doctors or other medical professionals of resources in rendering patient care, (e) restrain services or hours of operation, and/or (f) take any action concerning the provision of medical and emergency care of community members other than those required by existing medical standards of care at LICH.

de Blasio plans to personally serve the TRO to LICH administrators at 5 p.m. today/Friday, July 19.

“We’ve already lost a dozen hospitals under this mayor. We’re not going to let LICH be next. We need continuity of care for this hospital and this neighborhood. This closure is wrong, it’s immoral and we are going to keep fighting to stop it,” said de Blasio, who is running for mayor.

State Senator Daniel Squadron called the approval “a terrible mistake [as] we are already seeing the consequences during this extreme and dangerous heatwave.

“By allowing SUNY to mothball LICH before a new operator is in place, DOH’s decision undermines a long-term healthcare solution for the community and Brooklyn,” Squadron continued. “There are solutions for LICH, and significant interest from potential operators — but the state and SUNY have come together to undermine those, instead of working collaboratively to make them a reality. We continue to strongly urge DOH, SUNY and the Governor to come together to preserve this vital resource.”

The news comes after months of protests and rallies by LICH supporters and after SUNY published seven draft plans by potential buyers of LICH.


We’ll update this story as more information becomes available. 

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