Thursday, April 17, 2014

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State Health Department To Shut Down Queens' Peninsula Hospital

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TWC News: State Health Department To Shut Down Queens' Peninsula Hospital
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Peninsula Hospital Center will close for good, following months of efforts to keep the failing hospital in Queens open.

The State Department of Health said Monday that Peninsula Hospital officials will be required to submit a closure plan. According to the Queens borough president, up to 1,000 jobs are on the way out.

Its closure will leave the 100,000 residents of the Rockaways with only one hospital.

Health officials shut down Peninsula's laboratory last month after it failed an inspection.

The hospital in Edgemere was also barred from admitting new patients until issues were resolved.

Without revenue from patients, the hospital is unable to run daily operations.

The Health Department says it will ensure an orderly closure, and that patients and their records will be transferred to other health care providers.

However, local officials were still concerned.

"If people have a heart attack and they need to go to the hospital, there’s only one medical facility, St. Johns Episcopal Hospital, that’d provide ambulance care, emergency care when needed," said Queens Councilman Eric Ulrich. "We’re concerned about the ability to deliver quality health care, we’re concerned about people’s safety."

The 104-year-old hospital was on the brink of closure last year, when an investor stepped in to save it. Still, the facility could not turn things around.

On Monday night, Kasheena Marie brought her son Peninsula Hospital to see a doctor, then had to pack up because the staff could not help her.

"My baby is sick. They telling me there is nothing they could do because there is no pediatrician here," said Marie.

She had to drive a couple extra miles to St. Johns Episcopal.

By late Monday, there was no word on when the facility would completely shut down. When it does, Peninsula will become the fourth Queens hospital to close since 2008.

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