The East Village’s Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital, which operates at around 60 percent capacity on an average day, has now announced that it will close after years of losing money.
Mount Sinai Health System, which owns the Beth Israel facility, has plans to open a smaller hospital at 14th Street and Second Avenue with 70 beds and an emergency room once Beth Israel closes within the next four years, NY1 reported. Beth Israel has lost $250 million since 2012.
"What we are dealing with is an infrastructure that is old, a facility that isn't efficient, and it lives in the most competitive environment on planet Earth in health care,"Mount Sinai Beth Israel CEO Dr. Kenneth Davis said to NY1.
The closure announcement was part of a bigger trend in New York City hospitals, where financial losses have driven a number of facilities to close, the Wall Street Journal reported. Since 2008, Cabrini Medical Center in Gramercy Park, St. Vincent’s in Greenwich Village and Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn have all closed.
"We are not diminishing, in any way, the services," Dr. Davis said to the Journal, which stated that the hospital requires fewer beds as technology and outpatient care have driven down the need for hospitalizations.
Earlier in May, local politicians representing the area wrote a joint letter to Dr. Davis as they were concerned about the possibility of declining medical services in the neighborhood, Crain’s New York reported.
"Any downsizing or closure at Beth Israel threatens to further strain an already overburdened network of health-care providers in Manhattan, reduce health-care options and curtail services in the immediate neighborhood and eliminate jobs,” the local politicians’ letter was quoted by Crain’s.
Between 600 and 700 nonunion Beth Israel employees were expected to lose their jobs because of the closure, but hospital officials have said that retraining and other job services would be available, the Journal added.
"Every emergency that has been taken care of in the past will be taken care of in the future. Every clinical need that they had has been taken care of in the past [and] will be taken care of as well, if not better, in the future," Dr. Davis was quoted by NY1. "The only thing I ask [people] to understand is that it may not be in that one place – it will be distributed over downtown."