On the heels of two hospital closures in the New York borough of Queens this month, 486-bed Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center in Brooklyn announced it is laying off 240 of its employeesor about 6% of its total workforceincluding doctors, nurses, administrators and other positions from all levels of the hospital. The cuts at Brookdale came in addition to an undisclosed number of vacant positions affected by a hiring freeze.
While Brookdale did not release information on which types of positions would be most affected, the Greater New York Hospital Association said more than 175 of the layoffs affected members of 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East. This is yet another example of a healthcare system that is in extremely fragile condition, hospital association spokesman Brian Conway said. We look at what happened in Brooklyn yesterday as further proof that hospitals here just dont have any cushion left.
A memo from Brookdale Vice President of Public Affairs Ole Pedersen said the job cuts came in response to inadequate reimbursements, growing numbers of uninsured patients, and abusive payment practices by insurers and managed-care organizations.
Both 261-bed Mary Immaculate Hospital and 230-bed St. Johns Queens Hospital in Queens closed their doors March 1 because of ongoing financial strains.