Pols decry “disgraceful” events at Long Island College Hospital

Comptroller Scott Stringer slams emphasis on real estate over health care

From left; Scott Stringer and Long Island College Hospital
From left; Scott Stringer and Long Island College Hospital

The New York State Nurses Association and its allies staged a rally at Cobble Hill’s Long Island College Hospital on Wednesday to advocate for expanded medical services after a deal to reopen limited services at the site fell apart. Politicians on hand had harsh words for the State University of New York’s troubled efforts to offload the property.

“I will tell you today what has happened over the last 18 months is nothing short of disgraceful,” City Comptroller Scott Stringer told the crowd.

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Asked whether his comments were meant to criticize Mayor Bill de Blasio — who advocated for a full-service hospital at LICH as a candidate, but has since tempered his position — Stringer declined to directly implicate him, Capital New York reported. Instead, he criticized what he characterized as a focus on real estate over community health concerns.

“So much of the conversation has been about luxury development and very few ways to give back to the health care issues of the community,” said Stringer, according to the news site.

Protesters called on SUNY to restore ambulance service, which NYU Langone Medical Center was scheduled to provide on Sept. 1, Capital New York reported. A restraining order granted to the nurses during a fight over hiring practices blocked the transfer, and NYU backed out of the deal, putting at risk Fortis Property Group’s $240 million bid for the property and plans to convert part of the site to condominiums. [Capital NY]Tom DiChristopher