Feb 6, 2012 10:12 PM by Maddie Garrett

UMC Making Cuts and Closures, Worries About Next Year

As University Medical Center plans to make $4 million in cuts, by closing clinics and laying off possibly 80 employees, hospital officials worry what the next fiscal year could bring.

Labor and Delivery will be closing its doors, along with Inpatient Pediatrics, Kidmed and the Detox unit. Others, like Outpatient Pediatrics will be absorbed into broader clinics such as Family Medicine.

"We're taking a lot of effort not to just abandon any patients. We're going to be telling them where they can go and a lot of them will continue being here at the hospital," explained UMC Hospital Administrator Larry Dorsey.

By transferring patients to broader clinics and saving other specialty programs, the hospital was able to keep its residency programs and accreditation. But LSU Medical School Chancellor Dr. Larry Hollier worries how long that will last.

"In Lafayette particularly we had faced the possibility of closing OB and Peds(Pediatrics), ENT(Ear, Nose & Throat), Orthopedics and other services. And we've been able to shift some of that and maintain them open for a short period of time going forward. But I'm not sure we can continue that into the next fiscal year when we're facing a year long of further reduction cuts," said Dr. Hollier.

Dr. Hollier said already students have called and cancelled their residencies. What's more, the budget process for next year is about to start this month.

"Yes I am worried about next year. And going into the next year with a large deficit," said Dorsey.

In the meantime, employees will be notified if they're affected by the cuts on Wednesday. UMC will submit its plans to Civil Services to be approved and actual layoffs won't take place for another few weeks.



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