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McDuffie Regional Medical Center to lay off 21 employees

Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012 4:12 PM
Last updated Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012 1:34 AM
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THOMSON — McDuffie Regional Medical Center will lay off 21 employees to reduce losses that have drained more than $900,000 from hospital reserves since October.

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McDuffie Regional Medical Center CEO Sandra McVicker and board Chairman William Doupe say the hospital had to cut jobs to keep its doors open. They spoke at a news conference Tuesday in Thomson.  GARTH SNOW/MORRIS NEWS SERVICE
McDuffie Regional Medical Center CEO Sandra McVicker and board Chairman William Doupe say the hospital had to cut jobs to keep its doors open. They spoke at a news conference Tuesday in Thomson.

Chief Executive Officer Sandra McVicker announced the 12 percent staff reduction Tuesday afternoon. She also said the hospital will contact physicians and broaden its contacts in the community to try to win back admissions that have been lost to other hospitals.

“Twenty-one people will be without jobs at this hospital; however, 150 people will still have a job,” she said.

Hospital board Chairman William Doupe said that he feels the action is necessary and that he supports McVicker’s decision. He said the hospital board discussed the action in closed session Monday.

McVicker said the decision affects employees from all departments except the operating room. She said some of the employees have been informed but others will not be notified until they return from regular days off.

She said the hospital will provide laid-off employees with lists of positions available at Augusta medical facilities.

Remaining employees will lose some wages. Hourly employees will have their work reduced by four hours every two weeks. Exempt employees will incur a 5 percent cut in pay, McVicker said.

McVicker, who has been in the post for five weeks and is also vice president of network development for University Health Care System, said the hospital will study purchases of supplies and other possible savings.

Doupe confirmed that the hospital lost more than $1 million in both 2010 and 2011. He said losses began about 10 years ago but accelerated the past two years.

McVicker said the cash reserve now stands at about $2.1 million.

The board is iselling the hospital to University Health Care System. A notice of proposed transaction has been filed with the Georgia Attorney General’s Office, which will conduct a public hearing. That session is scheduled for 1 p.m. March 29 at the Thomson-McDuffie County Government Center.

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Just My Opinion
Just My Opinion 02/28/12 - 05:50 pm
How much you want to bet the

How much you want to bet the majority of the people being laid off will be those who are "closest to the patient's bedside"..meaning people who are in the most direct patient care? Nurses, nursing assistants, Physical therapists/aides, and orderlies/transport personnel. Might as well throw in a couple of food service and housekeepers. Hmmm, you think any of the admistration is being laid off? Yeah, I don't think so either. Hope the best for all those being affected. Feel sorry for them and for the hospital. What has happened to the old St. Joseph Hospital in Augusta is now going to happen to McDuffie....going from a friendly and hometown place of care to a strictly cold, cost-efficient, regimented corporate place of business!

r 02/28/12 - 07:33 pm
How long do you think a

How long do you think a hospital can function loosing a 1 million a year. I am a beside person facing cuts. You need to think your politicians for this with all the medicare cuts. You can't offer care when you are not getting paid to give the care. Maybe you should focus your anger to the correct people and voice your opinion so that you can have the care you need and we can have the staff we need to give it to you.

OhWell 02/28/12 - 08:16 pm
r you are so right. If you

r you are so right. If you are not in the health care industry you do not know how very little reimbursement a hospital or physcian gets on Medicare, Tricare and Medicaid. It does not even equivilate to the co-pay the provider by commercial insurance. Most people with good healthcare benifits op to see a specialist rather than seek help locally. Small local hospitals have been hit hard by the government and sometimes you have to do the unpleasant task of downsizing to survive.

Just My Opinion
Just My Opinion 02/29/12 - 10:40 am
Okay, r, you might as well

Okay, r, you might as well start looking for another job now. The chances of YOU getting your job cut is higher than one of the "Nurses In High Heels" getting their job cut. That is just the truth. If that doesn't make you mad, then I don't know why not. I certainly know about hospital and physician with it all the time. It's not just on the politicians. It's on the insurance companies. They're like the mafia..the pretty much tell the hospitals and doctors what they will reimburse. And I'm not angry...if anything, I'm upset with the way the real workers are the ones always being downsized FIRST, and the multiple middle-management protect each other and are allowed to remain.

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