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The Call Blog: The Fate Of Brooklyn's Long Island College Hospital

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An urgent care center, while useful and necessary in its own right, can never be a replacement for a full-service hospital. It is an addition to one. The plan seems like an effort to appease critics who are strongly against the building of more condos, but clearly, it doesn't seem to be working.



Will Brooklyn's oldest hospital be replaced by luxury condominiums and an urgent care center? At a meeting of SUNY's Board of Trustees today, officials agreed to wait on a decision to sell Long Island College Hospital until Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio takes office.

SUNY officials say LICH operates with $500 million in liabilities, and it cannot afford to keep it open. But many residents and hospital employees have said an emergency room is needed in the community. The new urgent care center would not receive ambulance calls. SUNY faces multiple lawsuits to keep the hospital open. What should happen next?

Are you surprised to learn SUNY may want to sell LICH to a developer to build high-end condos? Is an urgent care center an acceptable replacement for a full-service hospital? Would you support a plan to transfer LICH to the City-run Health and Hospitals Corporation?

Send your thoughts using the link above.



Why would I be surprised that SUNY wants to sell to a developer? I believe that was their plan from the beginning. All of these hospitals that are suddenly a liability -- not to mention the public library branches that are at risk of being sold by their parent organization -- are "guilty" of being located in highly choice real estate markets. The motivations behind the proposed sales have nothing to do with the core function of either the hospitals or SUNY (or the public library) and everything to do with money.

Bruce
Upper West Side



This is going to be interesting. De Blasio put a lot of his campaign on keeping it open - now the 500 million dollar reality hits him and his team.



We have come to the point in this society that the value of life is superseded by the well being of Developers. We have Millions and Millions coming in to the city via the tourist trade that in my neighborhood, every little spot of land no to matter how small is being use to build Hotels. Bloomberg has left us a society of "Tale of two cities". The developers has a such of huge grip on the city that I don't think De Blasio can turn back. The greed of human nature that was fostered by Bloomberg has created a juggernaut that hospitals will be easily run over by money. SUNY smells the money and decided that it is more lucrative to yield to the developer gods.

Pablo
Lower East Side



LICH should'nt be sold to he HHC because every neighborhood needs a full working hospital not just a urgent care center. People rely on the hospitals for their families. I know Mayor-elect Diblasio would step in and do the right thing unlike Bloomberg he didn't care.

Herman
Upper West Side



If de Blasio is truly committed to rectifying the issue of profit ahead of people then he must start by keeping LICH open to the community it serves.

Felix
Bay Ridge



This seems to have been a pattern with all of the Hospitals in New York and that being
to run it in the red and then sell so that someone can build condo’s on the site.
As far as holding off until DeBlasio takes office is ridiculous because he was part
of the problem with the failures of these Hospitals and he stayed back and agreed
to let them build these condos.
In fact this whole city is being turned into high risers and all of the same people
are still around that had a part in all of this. So for DeBlasio to act as though he
is concerned is very hard to believe.
I’m not sure about making a decision as to whether someone should take over, or
just have some sort of emergency clinic of some kind.
How does one go with a full fledged hospital to end up with some sort of an
emergency.

Maxxiee
Morris Park


Staten Island could use a public hospital. If the hospital is closed, open one on Staten island. We have health needs also.

Roscoe
Park Hill



LITCH should be replaced by neighborhood medical centers located according to demand for medical services. What's de Blasio going to do? Tax the rich?
Why? The rich aren't responsible for LITCH going broke.

Joe
Port Richmond



I am completely stunned by today's turn around. This is an incredibly gratifying victory because for the first time SUNY and its board of trustees are talking about "what the community wants."

For the first time the community feels heard!! We NEED LICH - our full service community hospital NOT more luxury condos!!!

Susan
Brooklyn Heights



Why are the trustees waiting for DiBlasio to take office? Why don't they make their decision now? What are they afraid of? Is this another political move on the part of trustees to move another mega real estate developer in town? Is this about money? Are the trustees getting a slice of the pie? Sounds awfully suspicious to me.

Jeanne
Jamaica



I would like to respond to the question: Is an urgent care center an acceptable replacement for a full-service hospital?

Simply put, ABSOLUTELY NOT!

As a community we depend on ALL services of Long Island College Hospital.

Personally, I have lived in Brooklyn Heights for the past 20years. In my circle of family and friends we have relied on LICH for medical needs emergent and otherwise: ER visits due to trauma, collapsed lungs, and accidents. Major surgeries that involved joints, intestines, or hearts. Births of our little ones, even those who were premature. Cancer treatment, dialysis, dental care. Our experiences are only multiplied as the surrounding communities are considered.

No urgent care center could take care of the varied needs of the people who live in this community.
No amount of financial gain from condos could be more valuable than the lives LICH saves.
We need a full service hospital. We need LICH!

Veronica



How can Gov. Andrew Cuomo and SUNY say that there is no money to save hospitals across New York State ?

Gov. Cuomo is now proposing a $2 billion tax cut. Those savings are coming from radical cuts made to healthcare by Gov. Cuomo.

If you stop this foolish, election-year gimmick, then we would have the resources to save our hospitals.

Lastly, Bill de Blasio better make good on his campaign promise to save our hospitals. Voters are going to keep him accountable to his promises.

Louis
Jackson Heights



The hospital is needed. No one will realize how important the hospital is until there is a disaster. Stop the lies. Stop the underhanded dealings. We were sabotaged.



Please keep up the fight to save this community hospital. Brooklyn needs quality healthcare and a LICH closure would devastate and overcrowd surrounding hospitals and neighborhoods.

Amina



A politician took money from Mary Immaculate in Jamaica Queens. He gets caught, the hospital closes, and people are forced else where. They now don't even know what to do with that building! I don't trust any politician.

MZ
Richmond Hill



It's a shame that Suny Downstate is fighting tirelessly to close LICH. They should close their hospital instead. Anyone can check their ratings against ours ,clearly we are a far better hospital. Suny stole our money now they want to get rid of us . Shame on you Suny. Bring our doctors back.

Vanya



I don't hear anybody addressing how this Hospital can be made sustainable? Why has this Hospital been losing so much money? Perhaps a new model for healthcare delivery is needed. Maybe LICH needs a total makeover to survive.

Melanie
Park Slope



I am a former NY1 employee and the last year alone I had life saving emergency surgery last year. My appendix burst on the operating table and had I attempted to go to another hospital I certainly would have died. I am a life long Cobble Hill resident, was born there and the community needs a full service hospital because the number of residents is growing exponentially and the services are shrinking.

Mike
Cobble Hill



The proposal to transform LICH into a mixed-use facility of luxury housing and an urgent care center equates to tomfoolery personified!
When will developers & politicians stop trampling on the crucial needs & resources of the community for their benefit?

Kim
Harlem



We need real hospitals, not clinics!

Arkady
Queens


The neighborhood hospital is dying, but so is the concept of a neighborhood. If LICH was on the fringe of closing over twenty years ago, there would be a profound outcry, and an alliance within and outside the community, to save it. It's a sign of the times, and a unfortunate reality to digest.

Michael
Woodside



I was a patient of LICH clinics. They closed them all down leaving me to have to find new doctors. Only the Emergency section open. I do not consider it full service. I feel it will be closed soon. Foolish decision!

Crystal
Red Hook



It doesn't make any sense to increase population within the community with new condos and to remove a major hospital. Where are our priorities!!!!

Common Sense SUNY, if we need money how about a portion of the proceeds from LICH goes to the state.

The state should be governing for the people's safety not putting us in jeopardy.

Jennifer
Forest Hills



I don't live in Brooklyn but I believe starting with the Governor and then the NY State Legislature should come up with a financial plan to make LICH work for the community. Maybe a 5 year plan to assist in funding the hospital with a special New York State Lottery as a source of funding.

It is time for the Governor to lead in this important matter. He should focus more on people and public health, not on casinos!

John
Oakwood



Is it worth keeping Lich open at the expense of losing 2 hospitals Lich and Downstate?

Richard



The facts are that the hospital has not been economically viable for many years. The community says they need it, but if they truly needed a full service hospital it would not be bankrupt. I think an Urgent Care center and an emergency room is all they need. The rest is wasted space and money. I don't want the city to take over LICH as we don't need another money-pit being paid for by local taxpayer dollars!

TomKo
Bulls Head



My son was born severely premature in LICH 4.5yrs ago @ 1lb 8oz., if it wasn't for LICH's NICU we're not sure if my son would have survived. Not to mention I was there for all of my prenatal care and emergency needs during a sensitive pregnancy as well as other emergency needs and doctors visits over the years. My husbands family has lived in Carroll Gardens for over 45yrs now. All of our doctors have been affiliated with LICH. This institute is a crucial part of this ever growing community. Nothing good can come of closing this hospital. It's actually frightening to think this more than just a possibility.

Janice
Carroll Gardens



First it was St Vincent now Downtown MC. Which next ? I think America is slowly grinding to a halt! That will make America the world power with the shortest live-span in the history of the world and I am seriously worried. Converting to condos is a sell-out!

OLA
The Bronx



I'm not an expert on this topic, but it strikes me that there must be some decent arguments for closing this hospital, and watching this show is not giving me any argument for closing it so I can't make an informed decision. If you only interview people who live near the hospital, or employees, of course they are all going to be for keeping it open. Is it really as simple as luxury condos vs. a full service hospital? Maybe it is, but I'm guessing it's more complicated than that.

Jonathan
Upper West Side



I'm a nurse at LICH, I've been a patient there and I live in the community. The hospital is seriously needed in this area. Even though SUNY has done it's best to destroy LICH, we're still here, and still very much needed as a full service hospital. I frequently see patients that say they won't go anywhere else. I think the trustees are getting nervous; maybe Cuomo is thinking about re-election. An urgent care center won't cut it. Brooklyn has enough condos.

Lisa



Some of New York State's and the country's finest doctors came from SUNY downstate. Is there a plan for where all these doctors will be trained? Out of the country?

People can't live in the condos if they don't have good jobs and access to health care.

Susan
Upper East Side



Hospitals basically operate with deficit because reimbursement rates do not cover expenses at 100%! So, the community might have avoided closure but the main issue remains , can the hospital or any hospital operate realizing a profit. This city cannot really afford to operate acute care facility and make a profit! That's what the community needs to be aware of. If the community gets LICH fully operational be aware that the community needs to demand either higher reimbursement rates or more cost efficient quality care!

Barbara
Harlem

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