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Budget cuts affect 200 health jobs, reduce services in Central Louisiana

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By Jeff Matthews

The state Department of Health and Hospitals is reducing employment by 200 positions in Central Louisiana, and clinical services at public health units in Cenla will be available on fewer days. Both are the result of budget cuts, the state says.

The health department, like other state departments, had to make significant midyear cuts to address a budget shortfall. The latest round of cuts is taking $20.8 million out of the health department’s fiscal 2010-11 budget.

In Cenla, there are 14 layoffs in Region VI of the Office of Public Health; four of those are the result of people who are retiring or about to retire. 

Also, health units in four Central Louisiana parishes are being consolidated into two units. Health units in Grant and Winn parishes are being consolidated, as are health units in LaSalle and Catahoula parishes.

“We had to lay off 10 percent of our regional staff,” said Dr. David Holcombe, regional administrator and medical director for Region VI of the Office of Public Health. “Which was pretty good, the state was higher.

“The real impact of this is we had to consolidate health units. The bottom line is clinical services will not be offered every day. Clinical services are now being offered 10 out of every 20 working days during the month.”

Holcombe said he hopes the continuing budget constraints would not result in an actual reduction in the number of services OPH offers.

“The hope is we will be able to offer the same number of services in a different way,” he said.

The office is eliminating 144 positions statewide. The consolidation of several parish health units across the state is projected to save $3.45 million this fiscal year. The office’s total reduction as part of the health department’s spending cuts is just over $6.8 million.

In other spending cuts affecting Central Louisiana, Pinecrest Supports and Services Center in Pineville will have stricter travel regulations and fewer full-time and student worker positions. In addition, operations of four Leesville group homes housing 19 residents are being transitioned to private providers.

Overall, the health department’s position reductions in Central Louisiana, including actual number of layoffs, are:

–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

–Vernon — 41 positions, 41 layoffs.

–Winn — 2 position reductions, 2 layoffs.


Written by demon53

November 29, 2010 at 6:59 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Real Views, william broussard. william broussard said: Budget cuts affect 200 health jobs, reduce services in Central Louisiana: […]

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