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Posted on 8/16/2013
De Blasio, NYSNA, Physicians, 1199 SEIU, and Civic Groups Secure Court Order to Maintain and Monitor Services at L.I.C.H.
Plaintiffs in the legal action to keep Long Island College Hospital open secured a major victory late Friday with a court order that binds SUNY and the State Department of Health to remove impediments to medical care and will appoint an independent monitor to assure compliance. After weeks of SUNY unlawfully curtailing medical services, putting staff on leave and obstructing patient care, the new order puts in place a regime to preserve vital services and prevent further violations of the law until litigation is resolved.
The order was secured through litigation by Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, New York State Nurses Association, 1199SEIU, Boerum Hill Association, Carroll Gardens Neighborhood Association, Cobble Hill Association, Brooklyn Heights Association, Wyckoff Gardens Association, Riverside Tenants’ Association and two community residents.
The judge’s order requires SUNY to immediately put into effect:
- Full restoration of staffing and services which were available as of July 19, including an active Emergency Department, Intensive Care Unit, inpatient medical beds, as well as laboratory, radiology, social work and pharmacy services
- Recommencing in-patient surgeries that are deemed medically necessary by treating physicians to the extent such surgeries were permitted on July 19
- Removal of armed guards other than those deemed necessary for crowd control and safety
- Issuance of a formal “retraction letter” telling patients that LICH clinics are not slated for closure unless and until the Court deems otherwise. The letter will countermand the “closure letter” sent by SUNY on August 9.
- Court appointment of an ombudsman who will monitor SUNY’s compliance with court orders to maintain services, and serve as point of contact when violations are reported
“SUNY tried to padlock this hospital four weeks ago. We’ve watched it violate court orders in broad daylight. Now, the court is putting all that to an end. These steps will ensure this community will have continuity of care for the immediate future,” said Public Advocate Bill de Blasio. “This is a huge step forward.”
De Blasio, NYSNA and other petitioners continue to participate in negotiations with SUNY to find a path forward for L.I.C.H.
> Download the court order (.pdf)