2005-12-09 / Community

Addabbo: Keep VA Hospitals Open

City Council Member Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. announced that he has sponsored a Resolution in the Council calling on the Veterans Administration to keep the Veterans Hospitals open, including the New York Harbor VA Health Care System in Brooklyn.

“With the United States currently engaged in military operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan, the ability of our returning veterans to access quality health care is of the utmost importance,” said Addabbo.

The councilman noted that in New York City many veterans receive their medical care from the Brooklyn

and Manhattan Veterans Affairs Hospitals, which have merged to form the Veterans Affairs New York Harbor Healthcare System. This merger has already resulted in the savings of millions of dollars for the VA health care system.

The Brooklyn VA Hospital annually treats 30,000 patients, admits 4,900 patients, performs 2,300 surgical procedures, accommodates 310,000 out-patient visits, funds 119 residents in training and has some 350 rotating residents and 75 students.

Councilman Addabbo stated that the VA is now studying the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of consolidating the Brooklyn and Manhattan Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Other options under consideration by the VA could result in either the closing of the Brooklyn VA Hospital site or a reduction of services offered at this site.

“Eliminating the Brooklyn VA Hospital site will, without question, have a profoundly negative impact on their patients’ ability to obtain the care they need in a timely manner,” said Addabbo, adding that the closure would inevitably lead to a withdrawal of the support for the VA by the medical schools currently affiliated with this hospital and thus an inevitable decline in the quality of care.¬†“In addition, the closure of the Brooklyn campus would also lead to the elimination of vital research programs that have served to enhance the health and welfare of veterans,” said the councilman.

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