Interfaith Medical Center supporters, employees demand state funds

Supporters and employees of Interfaith Medical Center stood out in the cold today to make an impassioned plea for the state to give them funds to keep the fledgling hospital afloat. (1/19/14)

BEDFORD-STUYVESANT - Supporters and employees of Interfaith Medical Center stood out in the cold today to make an impassioned plea for the state to give them funds to keep the fledgling hospital afloat.

Dozens of people gathered with signs in hand to chant slogans like, "Show us the money," and "Hands off our health care."

A spokesperson for the hospital says it is owed a critical $3.5 million from New York state. The money was supposed to keep the facility running through February, but the funds haven't arrived.

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The state is attempting to cut off the funds because the hospital's board voted to continue operating the medical center's clinics, rather than turn them over to Kingsbrook Medical Center, officials say.

On Friday, nurses and staff angrily protested after the CEO of the hospital called for ambulances to be diverted from the hospital. That order has since been lifted.

Local lawmakers, including City Councilmember Laurie Cumbo, says it's "irresponsible" for the funding to be withheld because it is jeopardizing patients' safety.

Interfaith Medical Center could be forced to close as early as Thursday if the state funds to not come through.

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