New details revealed on deal to save Long Island College Hospital from closure
NEW YORK - Mayor Bill de Blasio and hospital advocates revealed new details today on the deal that was reached to secure the future of the embattled Long Island College Hospital.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, de Blasio and SUNY Chairman Carl McCall announced that cash-strapped SUNY Downstate will stop operating the Cobble Hill medical center by May of this year, and that there will be an expedited bidding process to find a new operator.
According to the mayor, the community will have a 49 percent say in choosing a new operator for LICH. The mayor also says the settlement sets a precedent for other hospitals facing the threat of closure, like Interfaith Medical Center in Bed-Stuy.
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De Blasio says that as new hospital operators are considered, the priority will not be profit, but instead quality and sustainable health care for the 80,000 Brooklyn residents who rely on the facility.
SUNY was reportedly losing $13 million each month, and has agreed that exiting LICH is its only option. The governor called the agreement a victory for all parties involved, ensuring that workers keep their jobs and that the neighborhood has a nearby hospital to depend on.
De Blasio calls this a historic moment for health care in Brooklyn. He says this agreement marks the first time in 12 years that a city hospital facing the threat of closure has been saved.
The mayor credits the hospital's victory to the perseverance of community members, hospital staff and advocates who, for 13 months, fought, rallied and even got arrested to save LICH.
For the complete news conference, watch the clip to the left or click News 12 Extra on Optimum TV channel 612.