MIAMI
02/29/2012 09:48 am ET Updated Apr 30, 2012

Jackson Health System: Miami's Public Hospital Group Eliminates 1,115 Jobs

Miami's 5th-largest public employer is eliminating 1,115 jobs.

CEO Carlos Migoya announced Tuesday Jackson Health System is laying off 920 staffers and eliminating another 195 vacant positions in an effort to "right-size" the financially strapped public hospital system, which has been on the brink of running out of money several times in recent years and has experienced a drop in patient admissions.

The layoffs are expected to save Jackson $55 million this year and $69 million annually, though 350 new part-time jobs will be created even as the full-time jobs are eliminated.

"We can't afford to have extra staff," Migoya said at a press conference at flagship Jackson Memorial Hospital, according to CBSMiami. "This is not about a profit and loss, this is about efficiency. What we are looking to do at this point, is right sizing this organization so we have the right number of employees for the kind of volumes that we have."

But Martha Baker, president of SEIU Local 1991, was incensed by the move.

"This is what you get when you hire a billionaire banker and then cut him loose to take a chainsaw to healthcare in Miami-Dade County," said Baker, a registered nurse, in a written statement. "It's unbelievable that he wouldn't consult the nurses, doctors and healthcare professionals -- who have sacrificed out of their pockets to keep Jackson afloat -- about how his plan to 'right-size' the system might harm patient care. We have no idea how Mr. Migoya thinks patient care can be maintained with such drastic cuts to frontline caregivers."

Migoya, who according to the Miami Herald has twice previously and publicly expressed his aversion to layoffs, said that despite the cuts "we are going to have the right staff of employees in every department that we have."

Reductions will be completed by the end of April, according to Migoya, who said Jackson should be break-even or profitable by summer.

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