From the Queens Tribune:
According to North Shore-LIJ spokesman Terry Lynam, two months ago Caritas and North Shore-LIJ signed an agreement that said North Shore is allowed to negotiate exclusively with Caritas.
Though staff and patients at St. John’s have been concerned that bankruptcy might spell the closure of the hospital, Lynam said that is not in North Shore’s preferred plan.
“Our preference would be to build a new facility,” Lynam said. “The exact location is somewhat in question. The bottom line for us is we want to provide a premium facility for the residents of Central Queens who, in our opinion, deserve a new hospital.”
Between the two hospitals, there are 400 patient beds. At St. John’s alone, in 2008 there were 48,000 Emergency Department visits, 7,000 surgeries, 1,227 deliveries, 14,000 discharges and 50,245 clinic visits, according to staff at the hospital.
A decision is expected Wednesday as to whether the hospitals will remain open until an agreement is reached.