A rushed shutdown of Bay Ridge’s beleaguered Victory Memorial Hospital was thwarted last week when state officials released more than $1 million to pay the staff.
The state Dormitory Authority had been holding up a loan to pay doctors, nurses and support staff on the grounds that the agency would probably never get the money back from the hospital, which went bankrupt in 2006.
But Rep. Vito Fossella (R–Bay Ridge) said he convinced state officials to release the $1.2 million so the hospital’s emergency room could remain afloat until its scheduled June 1 closing date.
“We have averted a public health crisis in southwest Brooklyn,” said Fossella.
Local lawmakers have been fighting since last year to keep the hospital open. The original closure date was set for Feb. 1, but a lawsuit has delayed the process.
Victory patients will be distributed among three busy hospitals — Lutheran Medical Center in Sunset Park, Maimonides Medical Center in Borough Park and Coney Island Hospital — and opponents say Fire Department statistics show that closing Victory’s ER would overburden those facilities.
Meanwhile, the state Senate Health Committee agreed to investigate the situation. Sen. Marty Golden (R–Bay Ridge) had requested an investigation after revealing those FDNY statistics. He and others claim that the other area hospitals can’t handle more ambulance runs.