Update: Capital’s Dan Goldberg confirms that LICH “could temporarily close” if a deal is not finalized with a new operator by May. Goldberg notes:
Closing the hospital, even for a short time, would seem to fly in the face of everything community groups and politicians have fought for during the past year. Their argument has always been that LICH needs to remain open to save lives.
News 12 Brooklyn reports “new details” on the agreement between SUNY and the community groups and unions opposing SUNY’s plan to close Long Island College Hospital that was reported to have been reached yesterday. It does not say if the agreement has been approved by Justice Johnny Lee Baynes, which is a requirement for its effectiveness. It says there will be an “expedited bidding process to find a new operator” but does not say, as “sources” were quoted as saying yesterday, that only those proposing to operate LICH as a full service hospital could have their bids considered. It says that SUNY will–this seems to be a “hell or high water” provision–stop operating LICH “by May.” There is, however, no provision as to what happens if there is no acceptable new operator by then, just over two months from now. Finally, it is said that “the community will have a 49 percent say in choosing a new operator for LICH.” But who has the other 51 per cent? Are the unions considered part of “the community”? If not, and they have a separate “say,” there is an assured majority for keeping LICH a full service hospital. If not, then it’s important to know how the remaining 51 per cent of the “say” is allocated. Our guess is that it’s divided among SUNY, the Governor, and the Mayor. Since the Governor can be presumed to ally himself with SUNY, the Mayor’s “say” becomes crucial.