The State Senate today unanimously passed legislation (S.847) to prevent the closure of Bellevue Woman's Hospital in Schenectady. The bill was strongly supported by women's organizations.
"This is important legislation because it preserves a nearly unique provider of specialized women's health care," said State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R,C - Schenectady), sponsor of the legislation. "Just this morning, I joined a rally sponsored by the bi-partisan Legislative Women's Caucus in support of Bellevue," Senator Farley continued, "and I was impressed with the sincerity and enthusiasm of the women who want this specialized women's hospital to remain open."
Bellevue is among a number of hospitals to be closed under a decree of the Berger Commission. Supporters of the hospital argued that the Commission relied on inaccurate information in making their decision. The Commission's report overstated the hospital's financial deficit by 92 percent, and failed to recognize over 3,000 surgeries performed annually at the hospital.
"While people have different views about whether or not the entire hospital closure issue should be revisited," Senator Farley said, "I am pleased that the majority of my Senate colleagues recognized that Bellevue is a special case -- an important and respected specialized women's hospital being closed based on mistaken information. The Senate acted to correct a tragic mistake."
The bill now goes to the Assembly.