Community members continue to rally to keep Long Island College Hospital open

Residents are beginning to fear that they will not be able to save the hospital.

Residents are beginning to fear that they will not be able to save the hospital. (6/22/13)

BROOKLYN - Community members are continuing to rally to keep the Long Island College Hospital (LICH) open after SUNY Downstate officials suspended ambulance service and started discharging emergency room patients.

Today, residents showed up with strollers to display how many children were born at LICH. Community members say they thought they wouldn't have to rally anymore after a Brooklyn judge ordered the hospital to remain open.

Nurses say the hospital has begun to discharge patients, the emergency room is turning away ambulances and the maternity ward is expected to close Saturday night. The emergency room is only accepting walk-ins.

Some residents who live close to the hospital say that traveling to a further hospital could be the difference between life and death.

SUNY Downstate's chief medical officer says that patient care is the hospital's main priority, but says staff shortages are forcing them to make cuts.

The hospital has yet to respond with a comment about today's rally.

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