Decision On Takeover of Flushing Hospital Looms

The fate of financially-troubled Flushing Hospital will be decided by the end of the year, according to the president of its Medical Staff Society.
Dr. Robert Cantu told The Queens Courier last week that a delegation of administrators from Jamaica Hospital Medical Center has visited the bankrupt institution and expects to propose a takeover plan soon.
A spokesperson for David Rosen, president of Jamaica Hospital, refused comment on the fast-moving situation. However, one source close to the process said, that the Jamaica proposal will be filed in a matter of days – perhaps before the end of the year.
Several months ago The Courier broke an article quoting Jamaica Hospital officials that they were considering a takeover of Flushing Hospital. Its public relations director Tara Fleming said that Jamaica’s partner in the takeover plan was Beth Israel Medical Center on Manhattan’s East Side.
Cantu faulted New York Hospital Queens for "undermining Flushing Hospital, slowly breaking it down, and preparing to turn it into an ambulatory unit for the institution on Main St. in Flushing."
He also pointed out that the radiation-oncology department has already been moved to New York Hospital Queens.
"The situation is not good," the president of the Medical Staff Society said. "We support the takeover of Flushing Hospital by Jamaica Hospital."
Cantu said that David Rosen, president of Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, has visited Flushing Hospital and inspected its resources.
New York Hospital Queens submitted its proposal on Dec. 7. It calls for up to $25 million of funding over time and the waiver of certain amounts the Flushing Hospital currently owes New York Hospital Queens.
Brian Salisbury, spokesperson for New York Hospital Queens, disagreed sharply with Dr. Cantu’s position. He noted that "substantive improvements had been made at Flushing Hospital including an expanded ambulatory surgery suite, a geriatric fellowship program, a new eye center and a hand and foot surgery center."
He said a committee of the Flushing Hospital board expressed satisfaction with the NYHQ proposal, but admitted it had asked for revisions.
According to Martin Bunin, an attorney for the creditors of Flushing Hospital, the creditor committee is split on who to support in the takeover bid.
"We have union representatives on our board and they definitely lean toward a takeover by Jamaica Hospital," he said. "However, the final decision will be based upon the best financial offer since creditors are seeking funds owed."
A federal court will have to assess both plans before either is implemented since Flushing Hospital is protected under federal bankruptcy laws.
Meanwhile, Cantu said that New York Hospital Queens has failed to keep the community abreast of developments that seem hurtling toward a conclusion before the year runs out.

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