Simon Extremely Disappointed
I’m extremely disappointed with the NY State Department of Health. As we figured, the public hearing for the closure plan for Peninsula Hospital was a fait accompli. They were basically placating us. We heard that the Health Commissioner was coming, but we knew in our heart that he would not stay. I predicted he would be gone in a half hour.
When he left he left flunkies to allow us to vent. Basically everyone who went spoke to the wall and would have gotten a better result if they had actually spoken to a wall. The full report of the hearings and the documents relating to the closing of the hospital may be found at www.health.ny.gov/events/peninsula_hospital/public_hear_rpt.htm.
The report does not answer the million dollar question of why the DOH did not reinspect the lab. The grant of $5.4 million for St. Johns Hospital was basically a sellout of our community. We are in immediate danger with one hospital that does not have enough beds and an emergency room that is frequently on diversion. No disrespect to St. Johns but a recent NYS DOH report showed that PGH had the second best rate of preventing hospital infections in New York State.
A Request for Proposal (RFP) was issued for those interested in purchasing the nursing home, hospital and real estate to place their bids. We are aware of three groups who are interested, but do not know about who else may have bid. The DOH kept the bidding process out of our local media. They are supposed to advertise, but maybe they placed an ad somewhere in upstate NY. We haven’t been told how or when the winning bidder will be chosen.
New owners would need a certificate of need (CON). We know that a number of bidders wanted a CON to be issued immediately so they could start services quickly. When a new hospital is built getting a CON is a long process. Lori Lapin Jones is a bitch who should be ashamed to show her face in our community or any other. She got away with selling all the equipment, supplies and fixtures in the hospital. In the process they even broke a water pipe leading to flooding. We do not know if the plumbing was repaired.
It is a goddamn shame our community has been sold out and no one can answer why. It is time the bids that were sent in were opened publicly and the winner chosen. The NYS DOH plan for new hospitals consists of emergency rooms, clinic and urgent care, but no hospital beds. It is time that we demand our rights and let’s do it now. State Senator Shirley Huntley had written legislation when other hospitals closed in Queens which forced the DOH to hold the hearing and issue the report. She is with us in demanding a full state of the art hospital at Peninsula. United we stand, divided we fall.
Pick up your phone, pen or go to your computer to contact Governor Cuomo, Borough President Helen Marshall, Mayor Bloomberg, Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, and your favorite newspapers, TV and radio stations. At no time will we ever quit.
LEW M. SIMON