2011-08-19 / Editorial/Opinion

Stay-In-Place Time Out Needed At PHC

It now seems clear that Bob Levine, the president and CEO of the Peninsula Hospital Center, is working hand in glove with MediSys, the healthcare corporation that owns the hospital, to shut the vital facility down as quickly as possible despite the fact that there is a 90-day mandatory period between the time a hospital files its closing plan with the state and the day it actually closes. Multiple sources have told us that the hospital is closing because the finances of MediSys and Local 1199 would be better served by its closure than by allowing the hospital center to go into bankruptcy, as detailed in last week’s edition. The administration, led by Levine, has begun to shut down the hospital by refusing patients and advising its doctors not to schedule any further surgical or out-patient procedures as of yesterday, August 18. The speedy close-down of the hospital will not allow any staff, board members and politicians to find a way to keep the much-needed hospital open. What we propose is a stay-in-place time out. The state Department of Health should order the hospital to not do anything further to hinder the operation of the hospital for the next 90 days – until mid- November – in order for an investigation to take place, for board members to solidify the possibility that Frank Paterno and his company, Alverez and Marsal, a company that has been in the healthcare business for 35 years, might take over the hospital and make it profitable once more, and for the community to have its say. There are so many questions to be answered about how the hospital was run, how it got into such deep financial trouble, and the behind the scenes deals that must have been made, that a 90-day cooling off period is not unreasonable. We urge the state agency and Governor Andrew Cuomo to see that it happens.

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