Cuomo administration mulls $1B hospital for East Flatbush

October 24, 2013 04:57PM

A new medical facility in East Flatbush, Brooklyn may be constructed to replace University, Brookdale and Kingsbrook Jewish hospitals.

The proposal, which has been quietly discussed among Cuomo administration officials and members of the Brooklyn healthcare industry, is expected to cost some $1 billion to construct. But first, it will have to achieve support from and collaboration among the three hospitals, the Department of Health and the incoming mayor.

“Hospitals are part of the health care system, not the health care system,” Stephen Berger, who helmed the Brooklyn Medicaid Redesign Task Force, said in a keynote address at a conference on Brooklyn’s health system. “If every hospital that had closed in the past hadn’t, that quality of medical care people have wouldn’t be any better today.”

Other supporters of the plan spoke optimistically of consolidating hospitals under one roof, pointing to it as a sensible part of a 10-year plan for the borough.

The New York State Nurses Association, however, which as opposed the proposed shuttering of Long Island College Hospital in Cobble Hill, slammed the proposal, citing a “zero tolerance” policy with regard to closures.

“When you close hospitals, you close primary care network, and that’s what’s happening in Brooklyn,” Jill Furino, executive director of the union, told Crain’s. “The state has abdicated its role.” [Crain’s]Julie Strickland