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SUNY Holds Public Hearing On Future Of Long Island College Hospital

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The SUNY Board of Trustees held a public hearing Friday on the future of Long Island College Hospital.

Nurses, doctors and patients have protested for the last several months in an effort to keep the hospital open, and the court has ruled in their favor.

"The solution? Open the doors, let the patients back in, stop blocking the doctors from coming in and let LICH provide the services that we are prepared to provide," said Julie Semente, a spokesperson for nurses at LICH. "We are fully staffed. We have our services open, but they're not allowing any patients into them."

"The health of South Brooklyn should not be sacrificed to pay for Albany's sins of mismanagement and budget cuts," said Jeff Strabone, a spokesperson for the Cobble Hill Association. "Please make medical decisions based on medical need and not on greed."

On the other side, SUNY's Board of Trustees says that the hospital, which currently has a staff of 1,400 but only 12 patients, is losing $13 million a month.

According to the SUNY board, that affects everyone and could mean a hike in SUNY tuition across all campuses.

"It's not a matter of mismanagement," said SUNY Board Chairman Carl McCall. "LICH has never had the resources to provide the kind of support that that community wants and probably needs, and we did not have those resources either. And you say that the folks there are angry. They are angry, and I understand that. But we have a lot of people here in SUNY."

McCall said that there isn't much that they can do right now because of the court case, but they are considering some proposals to turn the hospital into an urgent care facility and also possible condominiums.

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