Bill de Blasio Says Long Island College Hospital Will Be Closed Illegally This Weekend, and He's Mad as Hell About It

de_blasio_lich_rally.jpg
Image via the de Blasio campaign's Twitter feed
De Blasio speaks at yesterday's rally
After weeks of protests from doctors, nurses and community advocates, it looks a lot like Long Island College Hospital will close its doors this weekend. According to reports from several media outlets, doctors at the downtown Brooklyn hospital have been told to start transferring their patients to other facilities, a claim the hospital denies. The closure would be an interesting development, mostly because a temporary restraining order issued by a federal judge against the hospital's parent company, SUNY Downstate, which would seem to prevent its closure, is still very much in effect. The company says the hospital is losing $15 million a month and can't be saved.

And amid of all the protests and restraining orders and secret patient-moving, the LICH has become a serious campaign issue in the mayoral race. Especially if you're exceedingly pissed-off Public Advocate Bill de Blasio.

De Blasio, as you likely recall, got arrested at the last LICH rally on July 10, something he told reporters the night before that he was been planning on doing (no one looks this calm and noble-eagle-ish while being surprise-arrested, believe us). At that same rally, Anthony Weiner dropped by, as did John Liu, neither of whom seemed eager to get himself thrown in the pokey.

And yesterday, when a massive protest erupted in front of the LICH, culminating in a group of hospital staff trying to force their way inside, de Blasio was there again, along with City Councilmember Steve Levin and state Senator Dan Squadron, all of them demanding to talk to SUNY officials.

"These SUNY administrators are acting like thieves in the night," de Blasio said, according to NY1. "Closing down the hospital without showing what they're doing. But by tomorrow at this time there could be no patients left. By Sunday this facility could be shuttered."

The elected trio, along with a handful of other doctors/protesters and a trail of journalists, eventually made it to the office of interim SUNY CEO James Karkenny, where, according to the Brooklyn Eagle, Karkenny refused to talk to them, called security, and then huffily locked himself in his office.

Not one to be left out of the fray, Christine Quinn released a strongly worded statement on Twitter, writing: "Access to vital health care, esp during a heat wave, is essential. We demand #LICH keep its doors open as stipulated by law."

In effect, the only elected officials not saying anything about the LICH at this point are Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Cuomo. They might be forced to change that soon, if SUNY goes through with their alleged closure plans this weekend. In the meantime, another rally is planned for noon today in front of the hospital.

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2 comments
deaddog
deaddog

this money thing has been going on for years.   even wayback in the 60s.   only this time they bring in a big money ticket person,skippy to do the destruction.   skip you got big money to do this and with this paycheck and the ones back in washington you will have a good retirement. so hang on until the end of the contract.

welcome back to nyc politics,not like the panthers.

aamethyst10
aamethyst10

Bill should have done this a month ago when the first patients were being kidnapped out of that hospital, not wait until almost every patient is gone and almost every service is shut down. Might have a chance then.  BTW, when the SUNY started this attack on Brooklyn they said LICH was losing $1mil, now they say $15mil? Seems to me that SUNY & administrators at LICH are the problem & their actions against LICH are whats losing the money. If you take out of all the patients, don't let any in, & shut down services yourself, you really cant complain that youre not making money.  I think its all part of the PR machine they have to make the LICH look bad. Just because SUNY throws out a dollar amount to the press doesn't make it true.  Where is the documentation to support their claim? LICH wouldn't be losing anything at all if SUNY would just let LICH bring back the patients & provide the services that the staff is there to provide

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