Closure of Mount Sinai Beth Israel Postponed Indefinitely

Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital will remain open for the time being unless the Ministry of Health approves its closure.

“They can’t close without a judge lifting the temporary restraining order,” said Arthur Schwartz, lead attorney in a lawsuit challenging the hospital’s closure.


What you need to know

  • Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital will remain open for the foreseeable future unless it receives approval from the Ministry of Health to close.
  • “They can’t close without a judge lifting the temporary restraining order,” said Arthur Schwartz, lead attorney in a lawsuit challenging the hospital’s closure.
  • Manhattan City Councilmember Carlina Rivera said the hospital's closure will have devastating consequences for the community and the 400,000 people it serves.

The lawsuit has resulted in a temporary restraining order. Beth Israel was set to close Friday, depending on the go-ahead.

On Tuesday, Schwartz said Beth Israel employees told him they were still receiving instructions that the hospital would close on Friday. Schwartz said he threatened hospital officials with legal action if they violated the temporary restraining order.

Mt. Sinai said Wednesday that it will not close on July 12, but that it plans to do so as soon as it is legally possible.

“We are still closing and need to do so as soon as possible. We have set July 12 as the last day we felt we could safely keep the hospital open. Since the DOH has not yet approved the plan and there is a legal battle underway, we will not be closing on the 12th, but it is vital that we close as soon as possible,” Mt. Sinai spokesperson Loren Riegelhaupt said in a statement.

Schwartz tells a different story.

“They wanted to close starting Friday until we started arguing with them last night,” Schwartz said.

Riegelhaupt said a memo about the delay had been sent to staff, adding that the hospital had lost more than 450 employees. Officials at Beth Israel said it was becoming increasingly difficult to maintain care. Bak in May, they said it had just $29 million in cash reserves left.

“It is so unfortunate that the hospital is now in a position where it is releasing information that it urgently needs to close because of circumstances that it has created,” said Manhattan City Councilmember Carlina Rivera.

Rivera said the hospital's closure would have a devastating impact on the community and the 400,000 people it serves, adding that the proposed relief package still isn't enough to support those residents.

“We would like to ensure that the facilities at that location remain available to the community, and that is why we continue to negotiate and demand better from them,” Rivera said.

The hospital has tried to phase out services, but was ordered to stop by the Department of Health. In March, the Department of Health found that the hospital had violated a shutdown order that prohibited it from doing so, pending approval.

Schwartz said if the hospital stopped pursuing the closing date, the staff would return.

“There is no alternative. There is no way to mitigate it. So the only answer is to keep it open,” Schwartz said.

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