Mount Sinai Beth Israel has become the latest New York hospital to close up shop.
The hospital’s administrators announced Wednesday that it will cease operations at its 825-bed facility in the Lower East Side over the next four years and shift to different, smaller locations.
A new 70-bed hospital, which will be located two blocks away from the current location at 1st Avenue and 16th Street, will be part of the new network.
This will be the 20th hospital to close in New York since 2000. Medical centers across the nation are facing extreme financial problems due to a number of factors including the increasing cost of health care.
Peter W. May, the chairman of the boards of trustees of the Mount Sinai Health System, reassured that the downsizing plans won’t leave a health void for New Yorkers.
“The boards of Mount Sinai are dedicated to making sure the resources are available for these investments in our system,” he said in a statement.
Mount Sinai’s adminstrators didn’t say what would happen to the space once it closes. Several of the shuttered hospitals, like St. Vincent’s, ended up demolished and converted into high priced condos.
City Councilman Corey Johnson, who chairs the health committee, said it is important that more full-fledged hospitals are available in the borough.
“The healthcare industry may be changing, but our communities still need adequate emergency services and an adequate number of hospital beds,” he said in a statement.
Hospital officials said less than 60% of its beds were occupied on average and patient volume “decreased by double digits since 2012.” The hospital will invest $500 million to create a network of medical centers below 34th Street.
The new Mount Sinai Downtown Beth Israel Hospital will be at 14th Street and Second Avenue and include the 70 beds and adult and pediatric emergency rooms.
Officials said the current hospital will be open as they transition to the new facility over the next four years.
Additional facilities include a 275,000 square foot ambulatory care center in Union Square, and renovations to its Comprehensive Cancer Center West in Chelsea, and behavioral health facility at Bernstein Pavilion in the Lower East Side.
Hospital officials said it will try to retain and place as many of its employees into the new facilities as possible, however “the few who cannot be placed will receive help finding alternate employment.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio urged the adminsitrators to work with the community and be transparent about its future opertaions.
“Major decisions about the future of hospitals have been happening in this city for the past decade, too often based on no plan whatsoever and without a larger strategy in place, and that has to end,” he said in a statement.