Peninsula Hospital Crippled, Near Closing

The state Department of Health shut down its laboratory already last month due to deficiencies in its operation

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK

    Peninsula Hospital Center in Queens is hobbling along after six months in bankruptcy and there is talk of closing its doors.

    The state Department of Health already shut down the hospital laboratory last month because of operational deficiencies. Consequently, the hospital no longer admitted patients needing lab work, which led to a substantial loss in revenue.

    State health officials said Monday that with little money coming in, the 173-bed hospital in Far Rockaway would have to submit an orderly closure plan. A nursing home affiliated with Peninsula will continue to operate.

    If and when the decision is made to close, the health department "will work with other providers to make sure patients have access to services that will be closing," said health department spokesman Michael Moran, who added that the agency will also work to make sure medical records continue to be available to patients.

    A hospital spokeswoman declined to comment on the closing of the 104-year-old hospital after months of efforts to revive the failing center. Hundreds of jobs could be lost.

    In court papers filed Monday, Chapter 11 trustee Lori Lapin Jones said she will "turn to determining the most efficient and responsible manner in which to wind down the affairs of the hospital," including exploring the use of the closed hospital for other health care purposes. That could include transforming Peninsula into a primary care facility or an urgent care or emergency care center.

    Councilman James Sanders Jr., a Rockaway resident, released a statement saying he was saddened and worried about the future of health care in the Rockaways, which now has only St. John's Episcopal Hospital.

    "I intend to continue to work with all parties to seek potential alternate uses for the Peninsula facility, possibly as a primary care facility or emergency care center, while we work through the difficult task of organizing an orderly and effective transfer of patients to other health care facilities," Sanders said.