Rally held to save hospital after ambulances are turned away

Brooklyn Currents | 1/19/2014 | 0 comments

Two days after ambulances were temporarily diverted from Interfaith Medical Center, community residents and politicians rallied to urge state officials to keep the downtown Brooklyn hospital open.

The state had cut off funding for the facility only weeks after agreeing to keep the hospital funded until March. This happened because the hospital board voted to continue running its own clinics, though it had also agreed to turn them over to Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center earlier.

When the funds did not come on Friday, ambulances were diverted from the emergency room, causing a leadership crisis at Interfaith. The chief medical officer took over for the CEO and its future is uncertain.

Representatives of the state Department of Health arrived unannounced at Interfaith on Sunday morning, Jan. 19  to decide whether it was  worth keeping the hospital afloat.

Later in the day, supporters of Interfaith, including Public Advocate Letitia James, rallied outside.

"This hospital will close by the end of this week. They do not have sufficient resources to meet the next payroll. This is the last payroll," said James.

"There is no responsible reason to allow for the closure of Interfaith Hospital," said Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, who represents parts of Brooklyn and Queens.

The community hopes that the state health department will see a hospital that is at 104 percent capacity and that it's worth keeping open.

                                                  -- NY 1


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