Long Island College Hospital’s (LICH) emergency room may close as of 6 a.m. tomorrow morning, Thursday, June 20, say sources with the 155-year-old community hospital in Cobble Hill/Brooklyn Heights.
It is unknown whether LICH will close, but the State University of New York (SUNY) Downstate, which owns LICH, issued a letter today to staff notifying them that emergency medical services (EMS) — including ambulances — are ordered to be diverted to other hospitals in the borough.
“”The emergency room will not accept ambulance patients effective June 20, 2013 at 6:00 A.M.”
Walk-in patients would presumably be allowed in.
The nearest hospitals are Brooklyn Hospital in Fort Greene and New York Methodist Hospital in Park Slope, both located around three miles away, across several avenues, highways and expressways.
Ambulances could also be diverted to Lutheran Medical Center in Sunset Park and Kings County Hospital in East Flatbush.
According to staff updating the “Save Long Island College Hospital” Facebook page, approximately 80 percent of in-patients at LICH are admitted through the ER.
The fear is that closing the ER in effect means closing the hospital, which would be a run-around a judge’s restraining order for SUNY Downstate to not close the hospital.
The closure of the ER by SUNY Downstate would violate a temporary restraining order issued by NY State Supreme Court Justice Johnny Lee Bayne, who directed them to maintain staffing levels and patient services until a final decision is made by the state health department regarding LICH’s fate.
This is a developing story that will be updated as more information becomes available.