- Associated Press - Thursday, July 9, 2015

HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii’s public hospital system, Hawaii Health Systems Corp., announced it will be cutting dozens of positions from two long-term care facilities and halting new admissions while it tackles funding issues.

The organization plans to cut 64 positions at Leahi Hospital and Maluhia. Officials said the reductions are an emergency measure to remain operational as the organization faces an estimated $3.7 million deficit in fiscal year 2016, which began July 1.

The cutbacks were announced July 7 as an early notice to employees, as well as patients and their caregivers. The official 90-day notice will not take effect until August 1.

“At this time, this is all that we’re planning and of course it really is a significant reduction,” said HHSC CEO Dr. Linda Rosen. “We hope we won’t have to do more as you know we do also have reductions in some of our other regions.”

The organization plans to focus on reducing the impact to current patients for as long as financially possible.

“Reducing the impact to patients is paramount,” said Oahu Region CEO Derek Akiyoshi. “Our employees are very concerned about our patients, and they don’t want to see our patients’ lives disrupted.”

Both facilities employ a total of 430 workers. The reduction represents roughly 15 percent of the staff.

A public forum will be held to discuss the proposed cuts July 10 at at Leahi Hospital Nurses In-Service Conference Room and Maluhia Mitori Room, via video teleconference.

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