Protest at Interfaith Medical Center
Protest at Interfaith Medical Center
Protest at Interfaith Medical Center

It appears Interfaith’s fate has been re-written. Again.

If you recall, ten days ago, Interfaith advocates were outraged when the state threatened to withhold from the hospital the $3.5 million in funding it promised, unless it turned over its clinics to Kingsborough Jewish Medical Center.

In response, residents, hospital workers and elected officials representing a half-dozen neighborhoods aligned in heated protest, demanding from the state “Show me the money!”

And as recent as Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo both issued a plea to the federal government for a speedy reprieve surrounding Brooklyn’s hospital crisis at their first joint press event since de Blasio was inaugurated:

The two leaders called on the federal government to approve a $10 billion Medicaid waiver that would help the state improve its outpatient care services and rely less on pricier hospital-based care.

Well, the ailing Bed-Stuy medical center was extended another olive branch on Monday when a bankruptcy court approved the $7.5 million– $3.5 million it was promised previously by the state, along with another $4 million in Vital Access Provider (VAT) funds– needed to keep the hospital operational through the middle of February.

But it’s almost February, you say?

And then what? After February 15, will the hospital be back to square-one?

City Councilmember Robert Cornegy, who has been a lead advocated for saving Interfaith, said the Medicare waiver  money, if approved, is something that will provide the hospital long-term sustainability.

In addition, he said, a coalition of elected officials and health care professionals are working now on a plan to take the hospital through the year and beyond.

More money “is on the table if parties can agree to terms” by February 10, according to a joint statement from the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) and SEIU 1199.

“But devising something that’s sustainable is tricky and can take a while, because it has to include behavioral health,” Cornegy said. “Best-case scenario, we receive the waiver soon, before the middle of February.

“Worst-case scenario is we’re back in court.”

CORRECTION 11:42am: An Interfaith spokesperson has confirmed that the $7.5 million will keep the hospital operational through mid-March, not mid-February as previously reported.

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