Friday, November 21, 2008

LICH: send a letter to Governor Paterson

With the recent news that the NYS Department of Health has denied LICH's request to close its obstetrics and other services, now is the time to keep the heat on Albany. As explained in our earlier bulletins, the situation remains precarious and time is running out. When the powers that be reach consensus on one of the many proposed plans for LICH's future, there will still be considerable bureaucratic obstacles to its passage by the state. We call on Governor Paterson to stand ready to push through the redtape and inertia of government to guarantee LICH's future. Please send a letter to Governor Paterson.
Governor David A. Paterson
State Capitol
Albany, NY 12224

Dear Governor Paterson,

We are pleased that the NYS Department of Health has denied permission to Long Island College Hospital to close its obstetrics, neonatal, pediatrics, and school-based services. With threats of bankruptcy and fears of closure in the air, we need you and your administration to stand ready to cut through bureaucratic obstacles and distractions and to provide the appropriate permissions if or when a viable plan for LICH's future is presented. If such a plan is not immediately forthcoming, we call on you to make available to LICH additional interest-free restructuring grants in the short term for as long as they prove necessary. We recognize that the state faces hard times economically, but, Governor, hospital closures are forever. The health of our communities depends on access to medical services. As the Department of Health's November 17, 2008 letter to LICH makes clear:

"Currently there is insufficient capacity in the hospitals immediately around LICH and in much of Brooklyn to clearly demonstrate that women will have appropriate access to obstetrical and maternity care if LICH closes these services. Until there is greater clarity on this issue the Department believes it is in the best interest of public health that obstetrical and neonatal services be retained at LICH."

Knowing the precarious state of medical services in Brooklyn obliges us all to commit our most focussed attention to solving the current crisis and putting LICH on a firm footing that insures its long-term success as a fully functioning hospital. We hope that you will stand with us to do whatever it takes to keep LICH open and fully functioning.

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