Following a vote last week by the SUNY Board to stand by closure of Long Island College Hospital—part of SUNY Downstate Medical Center’s network—state lawmakers & Gov. Cuomo said “no go” to potential bailout funds to save the ailing hospital… at least so far.
The state’s new budget, which the Senate began adopting Sunday, contains no new funds for LICH. The New York Daily News reports that SUNY officials, under the budget, must submit a restructuring plan for the hospital by June. A Cuomo aide said, “Once they come up with a plan, then we will work them on a source of funding. It makes sense, before you plunk down money, you come up with a plan that works.”
SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher warned earlier this year that Downstate was losing $8 million a month and needed a taxpayer infusion of up to $150 million to survive the coming year. SUNY spokesman David Doyle said Sunday that it will “continue to work with our partners in government and the community to preserve and protect Downstate.”
On March 17, a judge ruled that the SUNY board’s decision to close Long Island College Hosptial violated New York State’s open meeting law and vacated its ruling to close the facility. In addition, the temporary restraining order that prevents SUNY from going ahead with its plan to close the hospital has been extended “indefinitely.”