SUNY University Faculty Senate Resolution against the “Privatization of SUNY Hospitals”

Rationale

            The Governor's Commission on Health Care Facilities in the 21st Century, also known as the Berger Commission, issued its report on November 28, 2006 recommending a series of hospital and nursing home closures and mergers across the state as a remedy for what "ails New York's healthcare system".  As structured, this report became law effective January 1, 2007.  More specifically, the commission recommended the following changes that will impact SUNY's engagement in the education of health professionals:

  1. "New York should undertake a comprehensive analysis of the feasibility and advisability of privatizing the State University of New York (SUNY) teaching hospitals at Stony Brook, Syracuse, and Brooklyn."
  2. Crouse Hospital and SUNY Upstate Medical Center should be joined under a single unified governance structure under the control of an entity other than the State University of New York, and the joined facility should be licensed f or approximately 500 to 600 beds." and
  3. "University Hospital at Stony Brook should be given operational freedom to affiliate with other hospitals and create a regional health care delivery system."
  4. "The facilities controlled by Erie County Medical Center Corporation and Kaleida Health should be joined under a single unified governance structure under the control of an entity other than Erie Countly Medical Center Corporationa, Kaleida Health, or any public benefit corporation.  The new entity should have a single unified board with powers sufficient to consolidate services into centers of excellence." (This is a major teaching facility of SUNY Buffalo)
  5. (http://www.nyhealthcarecommission.org/docs/final/executivesummary.pdf)

 

Since its foundation in February 1948, SUNY has maintained a longstanding commitment to serve the people of New York.  The University Hospitals have been an integral part of the State University of New York since its inception.  SUNY Health Sciences Centers provide training for a broad range of health professionals.  SUNY fosters translational research via its integrated hospital and educational structure and trains PhD students in the biosciences.

            New York State provides a substantial portion of healthcare to the indigent at SUNY allied hospitals and Health Sciences Centers.

            The recommendation regar4ding SUNY Upstate Medical Center is a call for action beyond dialogue and does not address the University's longstanding and present commitment to public service, research and medical education.  The Commission's deliberations did not adequately examine the impact of privatization of the University Hospitals on the delivery of healthcare and the training of healthcare professionals in New York State.

                                                            Resolution

            Be it resolved that the University Faculty Senate reaffirms SUNY's continued greater than 50-year commitment to public healthcare education, service, and research in New York State and reaffirms its opposition to the privatization of SUNY hospitals.

Endorsed by the University Senate at it’s May 5th, 2007 meeting.