Budget woes force HHC to close clinics, cut jobs

BROOKLYN - New York City 's Health and Hospital Corporation announced Friday that it will cut more than 4,000 jobs and shut down community clinics, pharmacies and several children's mental health programs in Brooklyn and beyond due to budget constraints.

HHC officials say they are planning to close the Sheepshead Bay Clinic and four mental health programs in P.S. 90, 225, 329 and I.S. 96 in Brooklyn.

William Bigby, who has worked on the custodial staff at the Sheepshead Bay Clinic for the past eight years, was devastated by the news.

"I'm shocked," he says. "I need to go inside and sit and read my bible and ask God not to let it close."

The closure of the Sheepshead Bay Clinic alone is expected to affect close to 4,000 patients and result in the elimination of 22 jobs.

The decision to slash jobs and place clinics on the chopping block comes as a result of a $316 million budget gap and an increase in the number of uninsured patients.

HHC President Alan Aviles said in a statement that he hopes state leaders will rethink the proposed cuts and support the public hospital system.

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