Please do the following as soon as possible:
- Sign our petition of the Obama administration.
- Contact Senator Schumer and Senator Gillibrand.
- Contact your Representative in Congress.
We need to let our representatives in Washington, D.C., know that IT IS NOT ACCEPTABLE to reduce access to inpatient hospitalization for New York City's veterans for the simple reason that veterans' healthcare is too expensive. Please make your voice heard and demand that the Veterans Health Administration NOT close 12 West at the Brooklyn VAMC on July 1. The VHA must seek other outcomes and solutions that do not limit access to healthcare for veterans who choose the Brooklyn VAMC as their local and preferred healthcare facility.
The Brooklyn VA Medical Center serves veterans from Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and Northern NJ, as well as soldiers from Fort Hamilton. Now isn't the time to limit access to healthcare for these veterans and troops.
The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) of the US Department of Veterans Affairs announced in early June the planned closure of a 25-bed inpatient wing (12 West) at the Brooklyn VA Medical Center, effective July 1, 2015. The stated reason is that there is a budget shortfall, and the closure will bring $2 million in savings. Patients who would otherwise be served by the Brooklyn VAMC are to be transferred to the Manhattan VAMC.
Closure of 12 West will eliminate 33% of the total inpatient beds, leaving only 46 beds to serve all who require inpatient and surgical care. Currently the Brooklyn VAMC is serving veterans from Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and Northern NJ, as well as soldiers from Fort Hamilton. The result of the loss of these beds will be extremely detrimental to the healthcare available to veterans and negatively impact all surgeries in the Brooklyn VAMC. If there is not an available bed, patients cannot be admitted. It could even prevent a patient who is recovering and doing well from being transferred from the Intensive Care Unit. Tests, procedures, and surgeries will be delayed, canceled, or transferred to other facilities if inpatient beds are not available to monitor patients.
The closure of 12 West could eventually lead to the end of all inpatient care at the Brooklyn VAMC. The influx of new patients to the Manhattan VAMC can only result in longer waiting time for services and substantially increased travel time. Without available beds, patients from emergency will have to wait for a bed at the Manhattan VAMC and then transport there. To take from the Brooklyn VAMC plan for the Manhattan VAMC to pick up their patients is extremely misguided. It was just recently in October of 2012 that the Brooklyn VAMC was caring for the patients from Manhattan VAMC, which was closed due to Super Storm Sandy. The Manhattan VAMC is still undergoing construction and renovation from damage during Super Storm Sandy, and has its own unique problems as well as being far less accessible for veterans living in the areas that the Brooklyn VAMC serves.
The closure of 12 West to save $2 million is simply unacceptable. Please sign, share, and contact your representatives in Washington D.C.