Just when the Long Island College Hospital deal seemed to have flatlined, it’s breathing again.
That’s wonderful news for Brooklyn — and residents of Cobble Hill, where the hospital was located.
And it’s great news for SUNY, which has hemorrhaged money — as much as $13 million a month — since it took over the aging, failing hospital in 2011.
Quick background: NYU Langone Medical Center was to provide health care services on the Long Island College Hospital site, but it walked away from the deal in frustration several weeks ago after Brooklyn Justice Johnny Lee Baynes moved to include NYU Langone in a lawsuit filed by the New York State Nurses Association.
But Monday Baynes tossed the suit, clearing the way for NYU Langone to return to the project. When it does, Brooklyn will be assured of landing a first-rate health care facility on the site — and not just the luxury condominiums that are scheduled to go up on the land.
Unfortunately, this thriving area will not see the full-service hospital that local activists and the health care unions wanted. Nor will it see the wealth of jobs that the old LICH produced for decades.
But the return of NYU Langone will mean the best possible outcome for this long-running drama.
The judge’s move Monday was essential.
The last thing NYU Langone or any other health care provider wants is to get stuck in the legal quicksand that has drained SUNY’s treasury for years.
And the notion of a full-service hospital going up where LICH’s shell now stands is a pipe dream. That’s because LICH was a dinosaur, a fading full-service hospital in an age when complex and highly specialized procedures are performed at major medical centers.
Neighborhood hospitals like LICH have been replaced throughout the nation by more efficient outpatient clinics. It’s great that SUNY chairman Carl McCall worked hard to bring NYU Langone back. It’s good that Baynes followed through with a sensible move.
Now it’s up to you, NYU Langone.