Victory at Victory (for now)!

for The Brooklyn Paper
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The emergency room at the beleaguered Victory Memorial Hospital will remain open even after the state closes down the entire facility by Feb. 1.

State Sen. Marty Golden (R–Bay Ridge), Rep. Vito Fossella (R–Bay Ridge) and Councilman Vince Gentile (D–Bay Ridge) announced last Thursday that the hospital will maintain its emergency room until a plan for an urgent care center — a step down from a 24-hour emergency room — is approved by the state Department of Health.

“We want to see a safe transition from hospital to urgent care center and nursing home,” said Diane Mathis, a Department of Health spokesperson.

Although the decision only keeps the ER open a little longer, lawmakers were calling the decision a win for the community.

“I am gratified to see that the Department of Health recognizes the danger … if Victory were suddenly closed,” said Gentile.

Last month, Victory backers sued the state, demanding that at least the emergency room remain open. The lawsuit is an attempt to reverse the state’s decision to close the hospital.

The 243-bed Victory Memorial is one of the nine New York hospitals that were recommended for closure earlier this year by the Berger Commission, which cited the hospital’s November, 2006, bankruptcy filing and “severe financial trouble” as the main reason for the Feb. 1 shutdown.

If Victory facilities were to close, the 17,000 people who visit the emergency room each year would be redirected to hospitals that are further away.

“The battle to permanently keep open the emergency room continues, and for the good of the community, I will not rest as long as the health and safety of the neighborhood is in jeopardy,” said Golden.

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Reader Feedback

Paul A. Toomey from Ft. Hamilton/Bay Ridge says:
On 12 Dec. 06' a letter that I wrote to the Daily News appeared in the paper.In it I expressed the matter of money over the human factor in the then planned closing of VMH. The plan of now having the ER open for a limited amount of time is nothing but a shame.The whole portion of southwest brooklyn will still not have a medical facility for treatment of trauma.The Breger Commissions decision lacks common sense. Time and again it appears that the people of the area will have to suffer because of the money issue.The nearest hospitals are a considerable distance away. Bay Ridge/Ft. Hamilton also has a sizable senior population who rely on a quick response & treatment. We have spent millions of money improving conditions in other areas of the world but when it comes to our own backyard, Fuhgeddaboudit! Seriously, Paul A. Toomey
Dec. 23, 2007, 2:30 pm

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