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.
©2007 Community News Group
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