Bethel hospital lays off 20 workers

Posted: Monday, June 26, 2000

BETHEL (AP) -- Some 20 employees of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Regional Hospital are getting layoff notices and the hospital is planning other cutbacks due to a budget overrun.

The hospital was nearly $1.6 million dollars over its $40 million budget in the third and fourth quarters, said chief executive officer Gene Peltola.

Earlier this month, the corportion announced a 90-day hiring freezing hoping to head off cutbacks, according to corporation officials.

The freeze didn't close the gap so the health corporation said it will streamline operations and more cutbacks are coming.

As part of the cuts, the company will not fill 40 vacant positions and another 20 employees will be laid off, Peltola said. Most of the layoffs are in administration and other positions that don't relate directly to patient care, he said.

Other cutbacks are planned, including reductions in travel. Peltola said travel and the use of temporary duty professionals, such as lab workers and nurses, have significantly drained the hospital's coffers.

Peltola said the hospital, which is expected to provide medevac flight service, has expanded into providing air travel for patients with more routine medical matters. But Peltola said the routine flights will have to be reduced.

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