Hospital job cuts triggered by budget uncertainties

Operating losses and state budget cuts have led to hundreds of jobs being eliminated recently at hospitals in Minnesota and Florida, respectively. 

The Pioneer Press reports that Fairview Health Services is cutting 240 jobs, 70 of which will be layoffs, due to "weak demand for inpatient hospital services." The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal adds that a shaky healthcare funding situation in that state is contributing to the cuts. 

"We need to reduce our workforce to match the demand for healthcare services right now, especially on our inpatient side," Fairview spokesman Ryan Davenport told the Press. "Inpatient volumes have been soft and lower than expected." 

Fairview's operating losses totaled $3.4 million for Q1 2011. The previous year, the system gained $29 million for the first quarter. 

The Florida Department of Children and Families, meanwhile, is preparing to cut 500 jobs, most of which will take place at three mental facilities in Gainesville, Chattahoochee, and Macclenny, reports the Palm Beach Post. Gov. Rick Scott (R-Florida) reduced the agency's budget by $48 million this week when he signed the state's new budget. 

Scott originally stated he wants to privatize the three facilities but wasn't able to do so, according to the Palm Beach Post. Sen. Bill Montford (D-Tallahassee) said he disagrees with the cuts. 

"At a time when the state is trying to create jobs and stimulate the economy, I cannot understand why the decision was made to cut these jobs," Montford said in a statement, reports the Jackson County Floridian

To learn more:
- read this Pioneer Press piece
- here's the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal article
- check out this Palm Beach Post story
- read more coverage in the Jackson County Floridian

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