The Veterans Affairs Medical Center on East 23rd Street in Manhattan suffered significant damage during Superstorm Sandy more than three months ago and remains closed.
A shuttle bus stops outside and brings veterans to the now-crowded VA hospital in Brooklyn for treatment.
The storm flooded the VA in Manhattan as well as nearby Bellevue and NYU medical centers. But those latter two hospitals have reopened.
Martina Parauda, the director of the VA NY Harbor Healthcare System, said Sandy flooded the Manhattan VA basement, short circuiting the electrical system and destroying clinic equipment. For safety reasons, the Manhattan campus will not accept its normal 1,500 patients a day until March and that will be a gradual reopening that could take a month more, she said.
All Manhattan veterans are treated at other VA hospitals in New York City, she said.
Union representatives for the nurses say it is not safe for the sick to travel so often and want repairs done faster possibly with more workers on overtime.
Some recovery funding was delayed because of Tea Party opposition to federal funding for Sandy repair, but $207 million has been approved for the Manhattan VA.
The earliest inpatient care, meaning patients staying overnight, will be in July.