After a judge’s ruling to keep the hospital open in August, SUNY Downstate is once again threatening to shut the Long Island College Hospital down.
The Long Island College Hospital saga continues. SUNY Downstate once again barred ambulances and new admissions to the hospital hours after its biggest hero, Bill de Blasio, was voted the new Mayor of New York City. LICH received the unexpected news on Wednesday night.
Employees found out about Downstate’s decision at 6 p.m. Wednesday after a telephone call from its Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Michael Lucchesi. Dr. Lucchesi told hospital employees he has diverted ambulances from the FDNY and sent them to different hospitals. Nurses received confirmation of the ambulance diversion from EMT’s not too long after the phone call.
Members of New York State’s Nurses Association have been in touch with attorneys from the Save LICH coalition, Concerned Physicians of LICH, and Mayor elect Bill de Blasio. Spokesperson for the Concerned Physicians of LICH, Dr. Toomas Soora, says their attorneys are aware of SUNY Downstate’s latest move in shutting down the hospital and have been speaking to de Blasio’s legal team.
That night Jeff Strabone, a member of the board of the Cobble Hill Association attempted to admit himself into the ER.
“I just walked into the ER and asked if I could be admitted.” Strabone told the Brooklyn Eagle. “The intake person said I could be 'seen' but I would not be admitted. I asked how long this has been the case. She said: 'The decision was made a few hours ago”
The drama between SUNY Downstate and the LICH has been a back and forth struggle since February. Before Wednesday night, the last update on the hospital was in August when a judge’s ruling stated that the hospital would stay open and resume services. Due to Downstate’s latest decision this is no longer the case. The reason for the constant threat of shutdown is because SUNY considers the hospital a financial burden.