Consumer, Labor Advocates to Get Greater Voice on Public Health with Passage of Hoylman Bill

ALBANY—Senator Brad Hoylman (D/WF-Manhattan) released the following statement in response to the passage of his legislation to expand the membership of the Public Health and Health Planning Council.  S.0870/A.4071 would require the Governor to appoint at least four members who are representatives of healthcare consumer advocacy organizations and at least three members to be representatives of labor organizations for healthcare employees to the Council.

Senator Hoylman said: “The public deserves a say in consequential decisions that affect their health and well-being, such as the approval to close or diminish services at hospitals like the 125-year old Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital in my district. It’s unfair that hospitals, health systems, and nursing homes are well represented on the Planning Council, but the general public is not. My bill will change this. I’m thankful to Assemblymember Gottfried and Assemblymember Epstein for their support and for my Democratic colleagues, who have chosen to make public accountability and trust a priority. New Yorkers deserve nothing less.”

S.0870/A.4071 would also expand the Council’s membership from 24 members to 36 members, and give the Senate and Assembly the opportunity to recommend the appointment of six members of the Council.

The legislation comes in response to the perceived lack of transparency surrounding the downsizing and reduction of services at Mount Sinai Beth Israel hospital in the Senator’s district, which were approved by the Council with little input from the community. In October of 2018, Senator Hoylman co-wrote a letter to Governor Cuomo with his colleagues in City, State, and Federal government in response to the downsizing, urging him to fill a vacancy on the PHHPC with a consumer advocate to ensure the Council would be able to hear from health consumers and advocates before advising the Commissioner on future decisions.