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Layoffs, cutbacks announced for East Hawaii hospitals

Hawaii Tribune Herald, May 20, 2015

Hawaii Tribune Herald, May 20, 2015

Nearly 90 employees will be laid off and some services will be cut at Hilo Medical Center, Ka‘u Hospital and Hale Ho‘ola Hamakua, according to a press release from Hawaii Health Systems Corp.

The cuts are the result of a projected $7 million deficit in the fiscal year beginning July 1, the release said. The hospitals comprise the East Hawaii Region of HHSC, the state funded hospital system which is facing a $50 million shortfall overall for fiscal 2016.

Planned closures include Home Care Services, which provides homebound individuals both chronic and transitional nursing care, and one wing of adult inpatient psychiatric care at Hilo Medical Center. Service cutbacks will reduce the number of long term care beds available at Hilo Medical Center, Ka‘u Hospital and Hale Ho‘ola Hamakua. Additional cuts will be necessary in many departments and in total 87 people, or approximately 7 percent of the total workforce, will lose their jobs as a result of these planned closures and cutbacks.

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