Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis and the City Council took legislative action in the fight to ensure a full-service hospital remains open in the city.
At last week’s City Council meeting, officials moved forward on a first reading of an ordinance to create a Municipal Hospital Authority, which they said could allow the city to temporarily take control of Bayonne Medical Center’s state charter in the event that a buyer for the facility cannot immediately be found.
The city hired the law firm of Epstein Becker and Green PC to assist in legal matters.
“Not having a full-service hospital within our own city border would be detrimental to the safety and well being of our community,” said Davis in a statement.
“It is critical for us to do everything within our power to fight to keep Bayonne Medical Center open, and the City Council agrees. Creating a Bayonne Hospital Authority would allow us to oversee the license of the hospital until we are confident a reputable provider purchases the facility to continue offering acute hospital services in Bayonne. To be perfectly clear, the city as a municipality has no intention of operating a public hospital in the long term, but this provides us with the opportunity to create a bridge plan, if we so need to, until a new provider is identified,” said Davis.
“We are still hopeful the hospital will be bought and operated by a private entity,” said Council President Sharon Ashe Nadrowski. “Bayonne needs a full-service hospital and the creation of the Authority is simply a measure to ensure a reputable health care provider purchases the facility to continue providing services right in our neighborhood.”
Last month, RWJBarnabas Health signed a letter of intent to buy Christ Hospital in Jersey City and Hoboken University Medical Center from Hudson County-based CarePoint Health, the owners of Bayonne Medical Center. CarePoint Health said that has initiated a separate process seeking a strategic partner for Bayonne Medical Center.
Earlier this week, Assemblyman Nicholas Chiaravalloti, D-31st District, introduced a three-bill package aimed at increasing hospitals’ transparency to help prevent the abrupt loss of important health care services in local communities.
The bill package draws upon recommendations in the State Commission of Investigation (SCI) report regarding hospital-related oversight and accountability in New Jersey, after its investigation into CarePoint Health’s financial management.