A notice of impending layoffs has been issued to Moss Regional Hospital and the other hospitals within the LSU Health System.
Still, it gives notice that there could be a layoff at Moss Regional effective March 5th, because the hospital may not get federal funding for the uninsured and Medicaid population. System wide the funding at issue is 29 million during the current physical year. The notice is to Moss Regional and six other hospitals in the system.
But it apparently sounds worse than it is. State Senator Ronnie Johns says people who use Moss Regional will probably not even notice a difference.
Moss provides jobs to 343 full time employees who provide health care to those who don't have insurance or money to pay. People like patient Mary Rowland who was in the emergency room for treatment. "I need the help. My husband's unemployed and I don't work. And I need the help. These people are wonderful to me."
When Mary and others hear about possible layoffs and cuts it's very upsetting. "I think that would be devastating for people that need help," said Rowland.
However-- even though the notice of impending layoffs was sent out to employees at the hospitals it's apparently because it's a requirement of civil service law. And Johns says he expects the effect on Moss Regional to be minimal. "The impending layoffs that they're talking about, we feel like, will be very minimal, Some of those layoffs will be jobs that have been vacant for some time now and just will not be filled. So, there will not be massive layoffs at Moss. But most importantly services people of Southwest Louisiana need are going to be there for them."
He says patients won't have to get in a car and drive to another city for health care they now get at Moss Regional and that they may not notice any change at all. "I do not think that the people of Southwest Louisiana will notice anything different," said Johns.
So the notice sent to employees that sounds so ominous may in fact be largely to fulfill the requirements of civil service law by telling employees what could happen. If you want to read the notice, which has been made public, click here.
We'll keep you posted as we get more specifics on what balancing the state budget will mean for our area.