Updated 01/25/2009 11:08 AM
Locals Rally To Save Two Queens Hospitals
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Dozens of hospital workers, residents and elected officials rallied Saturday to keep two Queens hospitals open.
Saint John's Queens Hospital in Elmhurst and Mary Immaculate Hospital in Jamaica are in danger of shutting down.
The company that operates both hospitals, Caritas Healthcare, approved the hospitals to close or file for bankruptcy, blaming the economic crisis.
Many say losing the hospitals would be huge.
"The impact of this, if this place closes down I can tell you it's going to be tremendous," said Dr. Salman Aly of St. John's Queens. "It just, on a daily basis if we are packed, the impact is tremendous as it is when we are open. So imagine if the doors close on both of these hospitals."
"This hospital, the emergency room serves about 45,000 people a year, and so does Mary Immaculate," said City Comptroller Bill Thompson in front of St. John's Queens. "Close to 100,000 people between the two of them are served in emergency rooms. Where do those people go?"
About 2,500 workers would be out of a job if the hospitals close.
State Health Department officials say they are working with Caritas Healthcare to try and provide them with state aid that could keep the hospitals running.