The future of Nassau University Medical Center, or NUMC, in East Meadow is the subject of a political dispute.
Long Island’s Level 1 trauma and burn center is housed within the public hospital. It also serves as a safety net, caring for the county’s most vulnerable residents.
Now, politicians are asking for change at the hospital, which has been in financial trouble for years and has been accused of corruption, most recently in an embezzlement plot.
According to a joint statement released Monday, New York State Assemblywoman Taylor Darling and Senator Kevin Thomas, both Democrats, have presented legislation that would “preserve equal medical treatment for all Nassau County citizens.”
They recommend expanding the number of board members from 15 to 21, with the goal of ensuring that the hospital’s operations are run by “capable and qualified individuals who will professionalize and depoliticize the hospital’s operations.”
Meanwhile, Republicans claim that the bill would give New York State the authority to close the hospital.
Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman, a Republican, spoke at a press conference in front of NUMC on Monday alongside union officials, police, firefighters, and healthcare employees.
“A shameless political grab by the state because they want to close this hospital,” he said of the proposed legislation. That’s their strategy, and we’re not going to let them get away with it.”
Blakeman recently proposed Matthew Bruderman, a big Republican fundraiser, serve as chair of the hospital’s board of directors.
Bruderman has promised to turn around the facility.
While Democrats dismiss the idea that they want to close the hospital as “outrageously false,” they appear to agree with Republicans on one point: the need to repair the ailing facility.