Doors close, treatment ends May 22
By Mary Frost
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Despite Brooklyn officials’ entreaties to SUNY Chairman H. Carl McCall to put the closure of Long Island College Hospital (LICH) on hold until a new operator can step in, SUNY says it will shut LICH’s doors on May 22.
The case continues in Brooklyn on Tuesday before state Supreme Court Justice Johnny Lee Baynes.
LICH was placed on ambulance diversion last Thursday. When 9-1-1 is called, the Emergency Medical Services division of FDNY will take patients by ambulance to other area hospitals, SUNY said. Walk-in patients to LICH will continue to receive medical screening and stabilizing treatment until May 22 at 7 a.m.
While SUNY said in their statement that cases needing further treatment would be sent to other hospitals, SUNY was instructed by Justice Baynes in court last week to continue admitting patients at LICH on a discretionary basis.
LICH patients requiring their medical records should call (718) 780-4632, 4642, or 4643.
All patients in the hospital on May 22 will be discharged or transferred to another hospital or long term care facility, and all outpatient clinic services will close as well, SUNY said.
LICH serves a rapidly growing swath of Brooklyn from Red Hook to Williamsburg, and advocates have been fighting for more than a year to keep it open. Developers, however, have been vying for the attractive Brownstone Brooklyn real estate.
LICH handles more than 59.000 ER visits a year, and residents and officials fear the closure will exacerbate a growing healthcare crisis in Brooklyn. Emergency rooms at the closest hospitals are already jammed, nurses say, with patients being treated in hallways.
In an unusual move, State Supreme Court Justice Johnny Lee Baynes on Thursday asked three competing bidders to try to work out a joint plan to operate the hospital and develop its non-core properties.
On Tuesday, community groups and doctors will be contesting the results of the RFP rankings. Several panelists evaluating the competing bids to buy LICH from SUNY allegedly ignored a settlement agreement which called for hospital proposals to receive more points than non-hospital proposals.
Six panelists ranked hospital proposals lower than non-hospital proposals. One gave no points at all the hospital proposals, but full points to a bid by a developer.