The fight to keep Brooklyn's ailing hospitals open rages on, with champions of Cobble Hill and Bed-Stuy institutions presenting a unified front this week.
Employees of Long Island College Hospital (LICH) and Interfaith Medical Center plan to hold a joint press conference and public hearing on Friday, Feb. 8.
"In closing LICH, SUNY is setting us up for Cuomo's agenda to bring for-profit healthcare to Brooklyn," said Julie Semente, a Registered Nurse and 30-year employee at LICH, in an e-mail to Patch. "We won't go down without a fight."
Citing an experimental “pilot program” in the governor’s draft budget that would allow private investors to create a for-profit hospital in Brooklyn, the nurses say they and their communities are victims in a plan that favors wealthy residents. Those sentiments were echoed by the staff of the Interfaith Medical Center.
"Interfaith serves Bed-Stuy, a predominantly low-income, people-of-color community which already suffers from a shortage in healthcare services,” stated Ari Moma, an RN at Interfaith Medical Center in the release. “If the Governor gets his way, it’s only going to get worse.”
Representatives of the two hospitals rallied outside of Governor Cuomo's midtown Manhattan office over the weekend with the support of the African-American Clergy and Elected Officials Organization, the New York State Nurses Association, The Bed-Stuy Works Alliance, N.A.A.C.P., District Leader Robert E. Cornegy, the Committee of Interns and Residents (CIR-SEIU), Bridge Street Development Corporation, and the Save Our Safety Net Campaign.
Brooklyn nurses on the NYSNA site say the governor should be strengthening Brooklyn community hospitals instead of "driving them deeper into crisis."
As recently as last week, for-profit healthcare companies have come under fire with fraudulent allegations. New York Times article from Jan. 24, reported a Missouri judge's ruling that HCA, the nation’s largest profit-making hospital chain must pay $162 million after he determined it "had failed to abide by an agreement to make improvements to dilapidated hospitals that it bought in the Kansas City area several years ago."
The LICH and Interfaith groups plan to meet at Borough Hall on Friday, Feb 8. Press conference 9:30am, hearing 10:30am.
- LICH Employee Sends Open Letter To Governor Cuomo
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