BROOKLYN - Doctors, nurses and veterans rallied against a planned 15-month closure of a surgical and medical unit at the Brooklyn Veterans Affairs Hospital in Bay Ridge.

Protesters say that closing 12 West, the inpatient surgical unit there, will eliminate 25 beds at a time when veterans need more care. They say the closure will affect patients, especially older ones who will be forced to travel to other hospitals for lifesaving surgery.

The director of the hospital tells News 12 that there is more demand for outpatient care, so they are shifting resources to where there is more of a demand. The director says any veteran needing cardiac or neurological surgery will be sent to the Manhattan VA, which is only 12 miles away from the hospital. 

The hospital director also said that no employee will lose their job with the planned closure, and that they will reassign workers to other jobs within the hospital network.

The hospital is run by the New York Harbor Healthcare System.