NEW YORK (AP) — The closing of a Brooklyn hospital that's been the subject of much emotional debate has been postponed until at least Sept. 11.
Interfaith Medical Center was to start shutting down Monday. But mayoral candidate and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio (BLAH'-zee-oh) has asked a federal bankruptcy court to halt the closing. On Monday, the court set the next hearing for Sept. 11.
The state Department of Health acknowledges more time is needed for a carefully planned shutdown.
De Blasio says the postponement will let the hospital try to restructure its failing finances and save critical departments, such as emergency services and psychiatric care.
Since 2000, 19 hospitals across the city have closed due to financial pressures. Interfaith Medical Center serves mostly poor patients from Brooklyn's Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights neighborhoods.