Two nurses stand in a hospital via Getty Images. (NanoStockk/iStock/Getty Images Plus)
The economic devastation of shutting down the United States economy is now hitting the industry that has been the busiest during this pandemic. It seems counter-intuitive but the results are starting to come in.
Beaumont Health System is one of the largest health care companies in Michigan and they are about to shed close to 3000 jobs, some permanently.
Beaumont Health says it is temporarily laying off thousands of employees and permanently eliminating several hundred more jobs as the hospital system braces for the financial hardship brought on by COVID-19.
In a press release Tuesday, one of Metro Detroit’s biggest hospitals reports 2,475 employees will be furloughed as the health care organization adjusts its workforce amid the pandemic. As another 450 positions are permanently ended, the CEO and other executives are already taking a hefty pay cut as well.
“I am extremely proud of our team’s rapid response to COVID-19. While many front-line employees have never been busier, other parts of our operations have drastically declined or ceased. We must make difficult, quick decisions now to protect and readjust to an uncertain future,” said CEO John Fox.
So how is this possible? As I said above the health care industry has been on high alert since early March preparing for all the COVID-19 cases. One of the first things these providers did was to cancel “elective procedures” so that all the resources could be poured into making sure that COVID and other priority patients could be served. Yet now that Michigan has begun to plateau as the numbers show here from yesterday possibly it is time to lift the elective surgery ban to save some of these jobs.
Another confusing aspect of this is that the Beaumont system last week also closed an entire hospital in the county hit the hardest by this pandemic. Also from the article above…
One of the first Beaumont hospitals to close was in Wayne County, which left employees confused and with lots of questions. As criticism against the hospital mounted, Fox released a statement that they weren’t permanently closing, but the building was “now temporarily paused and not serving any patients.”
I do not understand the health care system as well as some reading this, nor do I have a financial background on why corporations like Beaumont do what they do. Yet in the middle of a pandemic where the state and federal governments are throwing gobs of money around anything with health care these layoffs should be a clear sign the landscape has changed. Drastically.
Clearly, we as a nation were not ready for COVID-19 onslaught we have gone through. We better start getting ready for the aftermath.