"Hospitals are a top priority, and they must receive funding from our tax dollars to implement the latest medical technology and research. We should focus on improving them rather than closing them," Baldeo resolutely said. 


I echo the sentiments of many community residents, and call upon the City Council Hospital Closing Task Force to convey in no uncertain terms to the Berger Commission, that it should immediately quash any thought of closing even 1 of  Queens hospitals. The Berger Commission was created by the governor to identify which hospitals should be closed on account of rising health care costs. As a concerned resident and parent in Queens, I am also calling on these officials and also Governor Pataki to review and consider the grave consequences of closing even financially strapped hospitals. We must bail them out of their fiscal ailment, because hospitals are as essential as the air that we breathe.

While health care cost is rising, I am sure that our elected officials can come up with a better solution such as addressing Medicare reimbursements rather than proposing to close hospitals. The closing of any hospital will not reduce the overall cost of health care, but will create other problems such as over burdening an already declining health care system. You are putting us into Third World health care. For example, Queens Hospital Officials have noted the increases in both ER and in-patient admissions and have attributed this to the closing of St. Joseph Medical Center-the domino effect!

It is discomforting to note that our elected officials are willing to put our health at risk, rather than addressing the bigger issue of Medicare reimbursements. Closure is not an option, not even over our dead bodies. (No pun intended). No doubt, years of poorly planned expansion, large debts, hospitals forced to borrow money at high interest rates, inadequate Medicaid reimbursement and a large number of uninsured residents have contributed to the state health care crisis. We are not responsible for mismanagement and the bad decisions taken by our elected officials. I urge the Governor to do the right thing by leaving our hospitals open.

It is the prudent thing to do.


ALBERT BALDEO, ESQ                                                                        

  AlbertBaldeo.Com 2005