Brooklyn judge keeps LICH open and operating
by Andrew Pavia
Aug 21, 2013 | 410 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and community members praise the court ruling ordering SUNY to re-staff LICH.
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and community members praise the court ruling ordering SUNY to re-staff LICH.
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The doors of Long Island College Hospital remain open as Supreme Court Justice Johnny Lee Baynes ordered that the hospital’s service and staffing levels be restored to those that were in place as of July 19.

“SUNY tried to padlock this hospital four weeks ago. We’ve watched it violate court orders in broad daylight. Now, the court is putting all that to an end,” said Public Advocate Bill de Blasio. “These steps will ensure this community will have continuity of care for the immediate future. This is a huge step forward.”

Despite stating publicly that it would remove its request for the hospital’s closure, SUNY eliminated ambulatory surgeries, began moving patients to other facilities and refused to allow ambulances to drop patients off at the emergency room.

Baynes included in his ruling a court-appointed ombudsmen who will monitor SUNY’s compliance with the court order. The name and contact information of the ombudsman must be posted in 36-inch type throughout the hospital.

“This is very exciting news,” said Roy Sloan, president of the Cobble Hill Association. “I’m glad the court has taken action on behalf of the residents and the staff of the hospital.”

SUNY must also remove all armed guards other than those deemed necessary for crowd control and safety. Guards attempted to block de Blasio from entering the premises and serving a second temporary restraining order against SUNY on July 19.

“Once again, the court has ruled that SUNY must stop creating chaos for Brooklyn patients and must keep LICH open for care,” said Jill Furillo, executive director of the New York State Nurses Association. “SUNY has violated every single court order that they have received up until now. They need to stop disrespecting the law and stop hurting care for Brooklyn patients.”

“We will comply with the court’s order to maintain the status quo as of July 19, 4 p.m., as we continue to work toward a settlement to resolve all the issues,” said David Doyle, a spokesperson for SUNY. “As always, patient health and safety will remain our most important concern.”

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