Sunday, March 29, 2009

Rep. Ed Town's Statement on Brookdale University Hospital Medical Center Layoffs...

U.S. Rep. Edolphus Ed Towns (NY-10), Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, today issued the following statement, regarding the layoffs of 240 employees at Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center.

Rep. Towns’ statement:

“I am outraged by the announcement made today by Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center that it will lay off 240 employees. My heart goes out to those individuals and families that must now go out and find work, but these layoffs do not just affect those individuals who lost their jobs today. Many are concerned that these layoffs will also have negative impacts on the provision of healthcare services throughout Brooklyn. Patients, employees, and residents depend on Brookdale, and are very concerned with the impact that these layoffs will have on their ability to access, quality healthcare services. I am also very concerned because the decision appears sudden – and the plan for the hospital’s future unclear.

Brookdale Hospital’s decision to reduce its workforce may be partly a result of increased costs and other economic factors, but the hospital’s struggles are due, in part, to unfocused leadership. The hospital and community deserve better and need someone who will be proactive and prepared for the challenges that cripple an institution’s foundation. Without the concentrated focus, strategic visioning and proactive planning needed to overcome challenges that many hospitals face; Brookdale is made even more vulnerable and prey to the current economic downturn.

Of dire concern to many residents is the fact that they rely on Brookdale and its emergency care services – whether it’s for a heart attack, car wreck, or gun shot wound; families seek critical services everyday. In life or death situations, people should not have to worry about if they will be seen in a timely fashion, where they should turn for help, and whether or not they will receive quality service. These are the questions asked of me today by many residents calling my office.

Today, we are reminded just how fragile and fragmented our health care system is, but I assert to my constituents that I am here with you, demanding that you do not receive the short end of the stick and that you continue to have access to the quality health services you and your families deserve.”