Brooklyn Hospital Had Planned To Begin Shutting Down On Monday

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Interfaith Medical Center in Brooklyn was supposed to begin the process of closing down Monday, but the closure has been postponed until at least Sept. 11.

City Public Advocate and mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio said in a news release Monday that legislation by his office has succeeded in keeping the hospital in Bedford-Stuyvesant open – at least for now.

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De Blasio had argued in U.S. Bankruptcy Court that the New York State Department of Health rushed to approve a shutdown plan for the hospital without proper oversight, and disregarded a 90-day review period that is required under the law, the release said.

The department on Monday agreed that the closure plan did not meet its requirements “to assure a carefully planned closure,” and asked the court for a postponement, the release said.

With the extra 16 days, the hospital and its supporters can develop a restructuring plan in hopes of keeping the hospital open permanently, the release said.

De Blasio’s office has estimated that more than 175,000 Brooklyn residents will be farther away from an emergency room, and 70,000 people will lose access to outpatient psychiatric care facilities, if Interfaith closes.

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Interfaith Medical Center declared bankruptcy in December. It has survived for the past decade mainly on infusions of state aid.

Interfaith’s restructuring plan to pull it out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy was later rejected by the Department of Health.

Earlier this month, demonstrators held an all-night candlelight vigil outside the hospital to protest its planned closure.

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