The Real Deal New York

Cobble Hill hospital shouldn’t settle for ER Lite: OPINION

Replacing Long Island College Hospital with stripped-down facility a disservice to community
March 18, 2014 01:33PM

Long Island College Hospital in Cobble Hill deserves a full-service facility, not a freestanding emergency room, according to an opinion piece in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

Writer Raanan Geberer contrasted proposals for the Cobble Hill site with the plan to build a standalone ER at the former St. Vincent’s Hospital in Lenox Hill. The Lenox Hill HealthPlex is set to handle nearly 45,000 emergency visits per year — with only two beds — when it opens in June. Freestanding emergency rooms largely aid people with minor emergencies; those with strokes or heart attacks, for example, would have to find another hospital, Geberer wrote. But, unlike the shuttered St. Vincent, Long Island College Hospital is still open and has a full staff of doctors and nurses.

“If many people in the neighborhoods served by St. Vincent’s, unlike those served by LICH, are resigned to having the HealthPlex without other medical services, I think that the crucial difference is the passage of time,” Geberer said.

“In this early stage, it would be silly for the community to accept a freestanding emergency room, an urgent care center or both as a solution to its health care problems,” Geberer added. “It’s too soon to give in.”

Two of the bidders for the project would allow for a limited number of beds and bays in “freestanding” emergency rooms, as previously reported. [Brooklyn Daily Eagle]Mark Maurer