For months the Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn has been teetering between staying open and closing for good. SUNY Downstate pushed to shut down the hospital because they claimed it was a financial disaster. Activists against Downstate’s decision, led by Mayoral Candidate Bill de Blasio, adamantly fought against the closure all summer and yesterday they reached the victory they were looking for. A judge ruled that the LICH will resume operations the way they were before Downstate’s decision last month to shut it down on July 19.
“It is actually appropriate for government to spend money on health care,” de Blasio said in an interview with CBS. “If it means we have to spend some extra money in the meantime to keep this hospital open so we can figure out a financially viable long-term solution, that’s a fair use of taxpayer money.”
In the midst of the legal battle to keep the hospital open, Mayoral Candidate de Blasio was arrested during a demonstration and his arrest wasn’t in vain. The judge’s ruling states the hospital must resume at full service in the emergency room, intensive care unit, radiology, social work, and, pharmacy services. The judge’s ruling also appoints an independent party to keep a close eye on SUNY. SUNY responded to the decsion by saying they will comply to the judge’s ruling.
De Blasio calls the decision a loss for SUNY and a big win for the health care. The return to normalcy at the hospital has been a relief for its workers. The staff’s mood has improved big time and they’re happy to not have security lingering outside their doors anymore.
The Mayoral Candidate hopes for a long-term solution to keep the hospital open as SUNY isn’t financially equipped to fund it. He’s called for a Super Authority in the form of the Brooklyn Health Authority to keep open failing hospitals like Long Island College Hospital, Interfaith Medical Center, Brookdale University Hospital, and Wyckoff Medical Center.