Statement by State Health Commissioner Antonia C. Novello M.D., M.P.H.

February 18, 2000 – Ensuring the quality and credibility of patient care is my top priority as New York State Health Commissioner. When this Department brings information to my attention indicating that patients are at risk in any way, I will act swiftly and decisively to ensure that patients are protected and that they receive only the highest quality medical care.

In that regard, today, we have obtained a stipulation agreement from Staten Island University Hospital (SIUH) pertaining to the information we have obtained concerning Ehud Arbit M.D., and incidents at SIUH. After preliminary investigation, it is my belief that there exists a potentially grave risk to patients at the hospital in connection with surgery performed by Ehud Arbit, M.D..

Consequently, I have directed the hospital, and SIUH has agreed, to promptly effectuate the immediate cessation of any and all services by Dr. Arbit.

This agreement also directs Staten Island University Hospital to cooperate fully with the Health Department as we further investigate this matter. Further, SIUH will provide any and all information to the Department for its investigation, which will be thorough, fair and conducted expeditiously.

Additionally, late this afternoon, pursuant to my powers as State Health Commissioner, I obtained a legal agreement under which Dr. Arbit will immediately cease the practice of medicine pending the outcome of our investigation. Dr. Arbit also agreed to cooperate fully with the Department's investigation.