With the closing of St. Vincent’s in the West Village still fresh in our mind, it’s always a sad story to tell when a hospital might be forced to close its doors. The bankruptcy of any institution that provides a service necessary for the general welfare of the people is a blemish on our social record; a terrible testament to the times we live in.
So it upsets us to report that Interfaith Medical Center
on Atlantic Avenue near Crown Heights and Bed-Stuy has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The hospital had been relying on creditors for sometimes, according to court papers
it filed late Sunday evening, and most notably received financial aid from the State Dormitory Authority. However, a mix of malpractice lawsuits and overdue pension funds seem to have been the institution’s nail in its financial coffin.
Next month, Interfaith will run a $2 million deficit, facing over $35 million in unpaid settlements and obligations. To continue to remain monetarily sustainable, the state will need to inject $20 million in the bankruptcy protection plan. If it decides against said action, the hospital will have to close.
Unfortunately, Interfaith is the 11th hospital or healthcare system in New York City to file for bankruptcy since 2005. The calls for a state-led bailout began late last year and Governor Cuomo originally slated a merger to be made with Wyckoff Heights Medical Center and Brooklyn Hospital; however, the former canceled out the latter. This week, we will find out if the Cuomo administration decides to use Albany funds to satisfy the hospital’s demands.
Luckily, bankruptcy is not always the beginning of a slow decline for these hospitals. Brooklyn Hospital filed for Chapter 11 a few years back
and is now back on its feet due to state help and the payback of debts. We can only hope that Interfaith can do the same.