Los Angeles County Announces Health Care Layoffs
Los Angeles County Department of Health Services officials on Thursday announced that they would lay off about 130 employees, including 40 doctors, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. In addition, 110 employees will be demoted, and 500 will be transferred to other jobs, county health department spokesperson John Wallace said. About 860 positions, some vacant, have been eliminated. Wallace said a second round of layoffs, demotions and transfers will take place in the fall, depending on the county's financial situation at that time.
The Union of American Physicians and Dentists, which represents 813 Los Angeles County doctors and dentists, said it plans to file a lawsuit to halt the layoff or release of almost 200 of the county's 1,300 permanent and temporary doctors and dentists. The lawsuit says the county failed to adhere to the Beilenson Act -- a California law mandating public notice before reducing health care services to the poor -- but Wallace said that the county health department does not believe the demotions and transfers will have an impact on services. However, Joe Bader, regional administrator for the union, said, "If more cuts are made, then there will be longer waiting times, patients will have to try to go to other hospitals while the indigent can only go to county hospitals" (Anderson, Los Angeles Daily News, 6/12).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.