NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Efforts to save Long Island College Hospital appear to be on life support.
Mayor Bill de Blasio is calling on state officials to negotiate with other firms after the winning bidder’s ability to open a full-scale hospital fell through, CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reported.
Rain drops fell like tears on Long Island College Hospital on Wednesday after a plan to save the facility was announced with such fanfare just two months ago.
“This is a truly historic moment, a transcendent moment for health care in New York City,” de Blasio said on Feb. 22.
That plan is on the verge of falling apart. The mayor, who worked so hard to save the hospital — he even got arrested during a protest, formally asked the state to find another developer.
The firm that originally won the bid — Brooklyn Health Partners — was selected because it was the only one of the top three bids seeking to build a full service hospital at the site.
“This is the first time in 12 long years that a hospital has been saved that we have kept the wolf from the door,” de Blasio said back in February.
But state and city officials said Wednesday the company is unlikely to be able to fulfill its promises, that it is a “fantasy.”
The mayor said another bidder should be engaged to insure quality, uninterrupted care and maximize service for the 75,000 Brooklyn residents who rely on the facility, but Public Advocate Letitia James said she is not willing to throw in the towel. She wants a full service facility, not walk-in clinics and an emergency room.
“There’s all these rumors that they may not meet their obligations. I’m not prepared to say that. All that I can say to you is I’m not really concerned about the operator. The Office of Public Advocate Letitia James, I want a full service hospital in to serve the residents of downtown Brooklyn,” James said.
Community supporters of the original bidder are upset with the mayor’s decision. Dr. Johnnie Green of Mount Neboh Baptist Church mobilized preachers and communities, saying that to allow another company to come in “… will not end the inequality in our city. This kind of behavior will only reinforce the tale of two cities.”
The company that came in second has a joint proposal with Maimonides Medical Center and North Shore-LIJ Medical Center. It would include out-patient services at Long Island College Hospital and a new clinic in Red Hook.
Timing is critical, however. The hospital is currently set to close on May 22.
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