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Interfaith Medical Center In Brooklyn Asks Court’s Permission To Close

Mayor Bloomberg: There Is Nothing The City Can Do
Hospital Bed (file / credit: clipart.com)

Hospital Bed (file / credit: clipart.com)

CBS New York (con't)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Despite a public outcry, Interfaith Medical Center in Brooklyn is set to begin shutting its doors.

As WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported Wednesday, the hospital on Atlantic Avenue in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of the borough has asked permission from New York State Bankruptcy Court to close its doors by Nov. 11.

But the hospital will stop taking patients and start diverting ambulances to other hospitals on Aug. 12.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Wednesday that the city cannot, and will not, step in.

“The reality is you can’t have a hospital on every corner, and that’s up to the state, but that’s what you see playing out all across this country,” he said.

There were signs of trouble for the hospital last year when it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Several residents in the neighborhood have promised a fight to keep it open.

Also fighting to maintain the hospital lately is Public Advocate and mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio, who earlier this week suggested the creation of a Brooklyn Health Authority focused on saving Interfaith, as well as Long Island College Hospital, Brookdale University Hospital, and Wyckoff Medical Center.

The authority would allocate federal funding to the hospitals, and allow portions of the health facilities’ real estate to be sold in order to generate proceeds to pump back into the hospitals.

De Blasio’s plan came as SUNY Downstate has been seeking to close Long Island College Hospital and looking for another company to take over, saying it is losing $15 million keeping the medical facility open.

Earlier this month, the university received approval from the State Department of Health to shut down the hospital.

But a judge later issued a temporary restraining order that de Blasio said would have called for financial penalties if SUNY Downstate closed LICH.

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