Kona Community Hospital to eliminate positions, close unit: 5 things to know

Kona Community Hospital in Kealakekua, Hawaii, will eliminate 34 long-term care positions and close its 18-bed skilled nursing service, according to a KHON report.

Here are five things to know about the closure and layoffs.

1. The 34 positions will be eliminated starting Aug. 1.

2. Employees affected by the layoffs will have the option to be placed in a budgeted vacant position, according to the report.

3. The nursing unit could potentially reopen in the future, if needed.

4 Officials said the planned layoffs and closure are part of a contingency plan to fill a $6 million budget shortfall created partly by increased costs of collective bargaining and retiree health benefits, according to KHON. Those costs were previously paid for by the state.

5. The reductions at KCH come as Honolulu-based Hawaii Health Systems Corp., which operates the state's public hospitals, faces a $50 million projected deficit for the entire HHSC system for fiscal year 2016.


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