Hawaii Medical Center begins staff reduction

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Hawaii Medical Center announced Friday it will begin a new round of staff reduction starting next week.

Hospital officials estimate the reduction at its two hospitals in Liliha and Ewa will total about 150.

HMC Chief Executive Officer Danelo Canete says while it is a difficult decision, the reduction is necessary.  He says the pending reduction is not a reflection of any shortcomings of the part of HMC's employees.

"Thanks to the efficiency of our operating model and substantially improved patient care, we are able to treat patients more quickly and allow them to return to their families soon than before," said Canete.  "This uses fewer beds while caring for the same number of patients, so we are overstaffed."

According to national benchmarks, HMC is overstaffed by at least 30% and needs to make the required changes to remain competitive.

HMC filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on August 28 after a major lender refused to extend existing loans.

Canete says HMC hopes to emerge from Chapter 11 within a year.