|Friday's LICH rally. Photo: MK Metz, McBrooklyn|
On Friday, State Supreme Court Justice Johnny Lee Baynes gave LICH (Long Island College Hospital) another reprieve when he ruled that the previously issued stay on its closing would remain in effect until he renders a “comprehensive decision.” (More on that here.)
SUNY Downstate Medical Center wants to close the 150-year-old hospital, saying it's losing $4 million to $5 million a month and is adding to the dire financial situation at Downstate.
The poorly-managed and nearly bankrupt SUNY Downstate has been stripping LICH of cash, patients (ambulance drivers say they've been told not to deliver patients to LICH) and even expensive machinery in an attempt to force the Cobble Hill hospital to close, but has been stymied by strong backlash from the community.
Here's another shocker: On Friday, Councilmember Letitia James said, “There has never been a study about the impact of closing the hospital on Downtown Brooklyn.”
NOw SUNY has to deal with a mess of it's own making. After Friday's ruleing they issued a statement saying in part: "LICH's massive financial losses threaten all of Downstate Medical — which is Brooklyn's only medical school, its fourth largest employer and educator of one third of Brooklyn's doctors."
Why didn't they think about that when they took over LICH, did not carry out any LICH business plans, and did nothing to stop the extortion by Continuum for services that are not being provided? The amount of money LICH is "losing" every month is equal to what it is forced to pay to Continuum every month.
And if LICH was broke, how did SUNY transfer more than $30 million cash from LICH to its non-profit HSCB foundation that supplies scholarships to SUNY Downstate students (among other uses)?
Outside the court house on Friday, supporters, representatives and staff at LICH rallied to get across the message that closing the hospital would be a disaster for the many neighborhoods in its area: Downtown Brooklyn, Cobble Hill, Red Hook, Brooklyn Heights, Carroll Gardens and Boerum Hill.
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