Report Recommends Closing Veterans Affairs Hospitals in Manhattan and Brooklyn

Report Recommends Closing Veterans Affairs Hospitals in Manhattan and Brooklyn

Vets in our area may have trouble finding care due to federal recommendations for VA hospitals. New York City and Brooklyn VA hospitals may be closing.

Aundrea Cline-Thomas of CBS2 reported Monday on local veterans' outrage.

When Rudolpho Rosa travels from the Bronx to Manhattan every week to be treated at the VA hospital, he passes a lot of health care facilities.

Rosa commented that the doctors here are sympathetic to many veterans.

Rosa joined those outraged by the federal government's recommendation to close the Manhattan and Brooklyn facilities.

One person said, "We fight for this country, and this country is closing the VA and not taking care of our veterans."

A federal report provided details of the plan, explaining how the hospitals are old and will cost hundreds of millions of dollars to update while treating fewer patients. To provide care, the report suggested partnering with academic institutions like NYU.

Many of our employees are vets. Closing this facility puts them out of work," Kevin Lapham of AFGE Local 2094 said.

Now, veterans are organizing for a new mission: to prevent the closure of hospitals. Support comes from the representative.

"You have a good hospital. Where are they going to go?" Maloney asked.

The report said the Manhattan VA "sits on a desirable piece of land that could be great for a developer."

In a statement, the interim medical director stressed that the closures are recommendations and that any changes would be depending on decisions made by the Commissioner, the President, and Congress.

For patients:

Veterans and VA employees alike find refuge here, said Steven Faria. 'Many people are alone here,' he said.

They're not just treated for their physical ailments. Veterans reported that they feel understood within the community.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs says Manhattan and Brooklyn hospitals are already seeing a decline in demand. Demand is projected to decline by over 20 percent over the next decade.