Dozens of people who work for Hawaii’s public hospital system are expected to receive official notices within the next week that they are going to be laid off.

The Hawaii Health Systems Corporation said Thursday that it is implementing a system-wide reduction in force, eliminating positions as early as mid-December, to help address a $48 million shortfall for fiscal 2015.

The board of directors for each region is working with their respective region’s management teams to develop and implement contingency plans to meet the financial shortfall, the HHSC announcement says.

Each region has different expense control strategies available and is examining internal operations on a comprehensive basis from productivity management to work flow processes. Every possible option was explored thoroughly and with patients, residents and employees at the forefront of any decisions made, the release says.

Hawaii State Capitol Building 1.10.14 ©PF Bentley/Civil Beat

The Hawaii State Capitol.

PF Bentley/Civil Beat

“We value our employees tremendously and we really tried to avoid this,” said Alice Hall, HHSC acting president and CEO. “Unfortunately, the current financial situation in some regions is not sustainable without significant changes, some of which have resulted in cost saving measures that include a reduction in force.”

HHSC Executive Director of Operations and Planning Lance Segawa said “dozens” are expected to be laid off, but the final number had not been determined yet.

HHSC, which runs 13 facilities throughout the state, has long struggled to make ends meet in the wake of declining subsidies and health insurance reimbursements, increasing operating costs and the rising need for healthcare in a growing population, the release says.

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