Long Island College Hospital plan hits a sour note

While eating lunch today at a midtown deli / salad bar, I thought I heard something disturbing on NY1 that I had to confirm by going online to the NY1.com site. It turned out I was right.

SUNY has been trying to close Long Island College Hospital, the area’s only hospital facility, for budget and other reasons. In the current plan, funds on the order of $150 million are being sought from the State, and certain changes would be made in the operation of the hospital to reduce its obligation to provide outpatient and certain other services, becoming a smaller operation focusing on acute care.

Here’s the part that I wasn’t sure I heard correctly: “If the state doesn’t approve SUNY’s plan, it could mean the sudden closure of Downstate’s hospitals and medical school, as well as grave financial consequences for the whole SUNY system.

“‘If none of this works, and we don’t get the money, we have a responsibility to do whatever is necessary to protect the rest of SUNY,’ said Carl McCall, chairman of the SUNY Board of Trustees.”

What he did not say was that the hospital felt any obligation to do whatever is necessary to protect the patients of the hospital or residents of the neighborhood. This, mind you, is a not-for-profit hospital, which claims to be trying to keep profit-based health care out of New York.

I’m sure the patients and residents “feel your pain,” Mr. McCall. It would be nice if you would at least go through the motions of feeling theirs.

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