10 June 2008

Dailies Discover Brooklyn's LICH Problem

The New York Times and New York Daily News have news pieces today about Long Island College Hospital wild, land-selling ways—something Lost City was bitching about back in January.

Doctors held a rally Monday in which they accused LICH's parent company, Continuum Health Partners, of downsizing the hospital, even as they collect millions for selling off properties that will become new condos on Court Street and Amity Street.

"There have been sales of important pieces of property without input or explanation" to the staff, said Dr. Arnold L. Licht, a psychiatrist and president of the 800-member medical staff at Long Island College Hospital, in the Times.

Stanley Brezenoff, the president of Continuum, who appears to be bold as brass, said he was trying to keep LICH from bankrupcy, which is probably not far from the truth, from what I hear. My favorite quote from him was, "What’s St. Vincent’s except a real estate strategy?" Touche, Stan. That doesn't necessarily make it right, though.

I shudder to think what would happen to the whole South Brooklyn area should LICH fold, as some fear it would. Folks don't really talk or think about it much, but having a hospital you can walk to if you need to is a huge plus to living in Cobble Hills, Carroll Gardens, Red Hook or Boerum Hill, even if LICH is hardly a top-notch facility. I've been there twice in the past year myself. Life without it make me think of this recent horror story article in the Times about the medical situation in South Los Angeles where hospitals are falling like dominos.

Rising gas prices. Poison tomatoes. No electricity in the subway. Disappearing hospitals. Does it see to you lately that the basic building blocks of everyday life are being pulled out from us one by one?

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