Interfaith Medical Center set to close
Interfaith Medical Center, one of many Brooklyn hospitals facing financial troubles, is set to close its doors in the fall.
The hospital said it is being forced to close by the State Health Department after a restructuring plan and pleas for financial help were rejected, according to court papers cited by The New York Times.
The medical center asked a bankruptcy court to approve the closure Tuesday and has sent layoff notices to 1,544 employees.
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, who has been vocally against closing Interfaith and another troubled facility, Long Island College Hospital, said some 175,000 residents in Bed-Stuy and surrounding neighborhoods would have to travel farther for the nearest emergency room if the hospital closes.
“Losing Interfaith is not an option,” de Blasio said in a statement. “We’re prepared to take whatever steps are required — from direct action to appealing to the courts — to keep the doors of community hospitals open.”
A hearing on the hospital’s potential closure is set for Aug. 15 in United States Bankruptcy Court, but the Times reported that approval of the closure is expected.
Inpatient admissions will end and ambulances will be diverted to other hospitals on that day. The emergency room will close Sept. 14 and the next day inpatient services will end. Outpatient programs will end Oct. 15 and an H.I.V. and rehab programs will end Nov. 14.
The hospital was set to merge with two other struggling Brooklyn facilities, Wyckoff Heights Medical Center and Brooklyn Hospital, but discussions broke down.
Interfaith argued in court papers that the Department of Health did not approve viable restructuring plans.
The plan for closing was received by the state on July 25, according to a Department of Health spokesman.
“To ensure the health and safety needs of the residents of the community are met, DOH will continue to work closely with Interfaith Medical Center to effectuate an orderly process,” Bill Schwarz, a department spokesman, told the Times in an email.
De Blasio will hold an emergency press conference protesting the closure Thursday morning. He has previously called for the Brooklyn Health Authority to prevent hospital shutdowns.
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