Friday, October 2, 2009
Queens Elected Officials and Healthcare Advocates Urge Governor Paterson to Sign the “Hospital Closure Planning Act” Into Law
“A hospital's closing should not mean the closing off of health-care services for the surrounding community, but that's what happens unless the state listens to the community and makes plans meeting its health-care needs," said Assemblyman Lancman. "We may not be able to stop a hospital from closing, but we ought to be able to measure the impact of that closing and come up with a plan for serving the residents who relied on that hospital for health-care services," said Assemblyman Rory Lancman.
“With the recent closure of three Queens Hospitals, this legislation is sorely needed. The impact of the closures, together with cut-backs in community services has created what I predicted years ago- a Health Care Crisis in Queens. Now, hospitals like Queens Hospital and those that remain are strained, over-crowded and severely under-bedded. This legislation will shed a public light on any closure plan and finally allow the public and the legislature to weigh in on important decisions before any other hospital closes- a scenario that is simply untenable in Queens. I thank Assemblyman Lancman and all the sponsors in the Assembly and the Senate for the legislation which I wholeheartedly support,” said Queens Borough President Helen Marshall.
“Particularly during times of economic distress, we must do everything possible to protect access to essential health care services for all New Yorkers. This legislation will help the state develop a comprehensive plan to accurately assess our ability to meet the medical needs of our local communities. I applaud Senator Shirley Huntley and Assemblyman Rory Lancman for their efforts to deliver upon the promise of a healthy future for their constituents and urge the Governor to sign this legislation,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Malcolm A. Smith.
"The effects of hospital closures are far reaching and widely felt. I urge the Governor to sign this much needed legislation to ensure that all of Queens County continues to have access to quality, affordable health care." stated Assemblywoman Audrey I. Pheffer
“I urge the Governor to sign this bill because it is imperative that we have contingency plans when hospitals are forced to close. The impact to the communities affected by these closures can be extremely disruptive as has been the case here in Queens,” said Assemblyman DenDekker.