In line with the state’s budget deficit, the Department of Health and Hospitals in Central Louisiana slashed their 2010-11 budget resulting in the elimination of 200 health jobs, mass layoffs, consolidation of some health units and less benefits for clinical services. The health department made a midyear cut of $20.8 million from their 2010-11 fiscal funds to generate savings affecting the state’s healthcare industry.
Dr. David Holcombe, regional administrator and medical director for Region VI of the Office of Public Health, said that the cuts have a significant impact on hospital services, but they will try their best to offer the same number of services in a different way. Despite its negative impact, the cut would generate savings for the state. The consolidation of several health units across the state is projected to save $3.45 million this fiscal year and the employment reduction is just over $6.8 million.
Overall, the health department’s position reductions in Central Louisiana, including actual number of layoffs, are as follows: Avoyelles- 3 position reductions, 2 layoffs, Catahoula- 1 position reduction, 1 layoff, Concordia- 1 position reduction, 1 layoff, Grant- 3 position reductions, 3 layoffs, LaSalle- 4 position reductions, 3 layoffs, Rapides- 145 position reductions, 74 layoffs, Rapides- 145 position reductions, 74 layoffs, Vernon- 41 positions, 41 layoffs and Winn- 2 position reductions, 2 layoffs.Budget Cuts Affect Central Louisiana’s Healthcare Industry by Harrison Barnes