Letter: Chinese democracy is the cure for what ails LICH

Court’s LICH watchdog goes rogue, calling state handling of hospital ‘evil,’ ‘arrogant’
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

To the editor,

At Tuesday evening’s Saint Francis College gathering regarding the future of Long Island College Hospital four bids presented included hospitals.

Two of the four bids called for 100-bed hospitals in a new hospital; one estimating 9-10 years of build time and the other starting to build in 2-3 years.

Another bid came from a beach in Rio and promised the stars.

The result of those bids, if one is chosen: many years with a 100-bed hospital where LICH now stands, still proudly.

And builders’ plans change: Saint Vincent’s Hospital in Manhattan was promised 100,000 square feet for medical use, but that never happened.

Because a 100-bed hospital is not large enough to provide a full-service, acute-care hospital in the downtown of a major metropolitan area, the 460,000 people being served by LICH and seen in the LICH emergency room — which treats more than 60,000 people each year — will be badly served. And nearby hospitals will be overrun.

LICH was a 250-bed, full-service, acute-care Hospital until 11 months ago, and into the distant past — and 90 percent occupied.

The Chinese Community Accountable Care Organization’s bid calls for starting with a 150-bed hospital and increasing to 200 beds in the first year and 250 in the second. The plan is to use the present buildings and reestablish the Hospital, then consider other uses for available space and nearby properties, focusing on medical use.

The focus in that plan is on the hospital. The other bids are focused on the real estate.

The Organization is made up of 250 local doctors and administrators. Its members live here and work here and raise their families here.

The Organization’s approach is to include the LICH staff that remains and invite those that left to return, including senior administrators. A fast and smooth transition, compared to the upheavals resulting from an outside management team that lives Indiana or Atlanta, and has never before visited Brooklyn, is assured.

There can be no question that the Organization’s energy for making LICH vibrant and excellent once again will be dramatically different from the energy of the condo builders or the professional hospital rejuvenate-ers, for whom this is just another piece to play with on the board of their game.


Jon Berall, Brooklyn Heights

The author is a private physician in Brooklyn Heights and formerly an ombudsman who monitored Long Island College Hospital for Brooklyn Supreme Court judges William C. Thompson and Johnny Lee Baynes.