JERSEY CITY, NJ - Hudson County’s nine state legislators sent a letter to Governor Phil Murphy urging he and his Administration to “take aggressive action” to assure the survival of Bayonne Medical Center, Christ Hospital, and Hoboken University Medical Center.
Sent Monday, the letter is in response to the hospital’s current owner’s October 2019 announcement that they were seeking to sell the three health care facilities.
“It now appears that Christ Hospital is on the verge of bankruptcy and petitioning for closure and that Bayonne Medical Center is only a few weeks behind.”
Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis has been continuously vocal about his opposition to close the hospital that has provided health care to residents in his city for more than 100 years. “If you want to close this hospital,” Davis said at a press conference on the hospital’s front lawn, “you’ll have to come through me.”
The day following Davis' press conference CarePoint Health announced that they were seeking a “strategic partner” for the Bayonne Medical Center and that they had signed a Letter of Intent (“LOI”) with RWJBarnabas Health that will see Hoboken University Medical Center and Christ Hospital in Jersey City, and its affiliates, become a part of RWJBarnabas, “New Jersey’s most comprehensive academic health care system with a service area of nine counties covering five million people.”
That deal has since fallen through.
The Bayonne City Council took action to create the Bayonne Hospital Authority, a move City Council President Sharon Ashe-Nadrowski said was “insurance to have control if the hospital threatens to close.” At the same time Bayonne’s representatives to the New Jersey General Assembly, Nicholas Chiaravalloti and Angela McKnight, ushered through a series of legislative initiatives to protect communities from hospital closures.
Included in the six actions the nine legislators asked Murphy to take were the appointment of state monitors for both the Bayonne Medical Center and Hoboken Medical Center, a move identical to one taken on February 5 in relation to Christ Hospital; an order to the New Jersey Department of Health to enjoin, or prevent, any closing without a certificate of need; preventing the sale of any real estate where the hospitals operate; a further investigation into the use of “shell companies” to move money from CarePoint’s owners to other companies also owned by them; and support for legislation that would clarify the eminent domain powers of public entities as they relate to properties on which acute care hospitals at risk of closure sit.
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