Coney Island Hospital is open but still healing from Hurricane Sandy’s assault, according to city health officials who say the medical facility won’t be able to take emergency patients for several months.
Hospital officials say they will receive millions from the City Council as well as some federal money to speed up repairs, but last month’s super storm flooded the building’s first floor and basement, destroying thousands of dollars of radiology equipment and making the emergency room inoperable.
“It’s a long, complicated project and it’s going to take a while,” said Alan Aviles, president of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation — the agency that runs the publicly-funded Coney Island Hospital.
The damage to Coney Island Hospital was so severe that city officials had to remove it from the city’s 911 system, meaning that Southern Brooklyn residents needing emergency care will be shuttled to either Brookdale Hospital near Canarsie of Lutheran Medical Center in Sunset Park.
Currently, Coney Island Hospital personnel can only offer walk-in care and prescription renewals, but hospital executive director Arthur Wagner is confident that the emergency room extension being built before the hurricane struck would be available to patients next month.
“We’re expecting to be able to receive patients after next week,” said Wagner, estimating that the hospital should be able to care for 100125 patients a day — half its former capacity.
It will take months of renovations and new equipment acquisitions before Coney Island hospital will be able to receive 911 patients, hospital officials said.
“We’re not sure yet when we’re going to be ready,” said Robert Cooper, the hospital’s associate executive director.