Officials at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics have started delivering pink slips to 130 employees. The layoffs are part of a plan to cut 45-million dollars from the hospital’s 2009-2010 budget.
Jean Robillard, the hospital’s vice-president for medical affairs, insists that patient care will not be affected and workers will be shifted to different departments. "We are reassigning people to the critical care area and to direct patient care to make absolutely sure that the hospital continues to give the same quality of care with the same safety," Robillard said.
In addition to the 130 layoffs, another 70 positions will be lost through attrition and early retirement. Hospital officials blame the economy and say the budget cutting plan is predicted to leave the hospital with a one percent profit margin in the next fiscal year. Normally, the hospital’s profit margin runs between 3% and 5 %.