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HomeNewsArchivesJFL HOSPITAL TO CUT BACK ON NUMBER OF BEDS

JFL HOSPITAL TO CUT BACK ON NUMBER OF BEDS

Oct. 13, 2001 — Staff shortages and budget cuts have forced a reduction in the number of acute-care beds at St. Croix’s Juan F. Luis Hospital.
The reduction is being made to meet the patient-staff ratio set by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospital Organization and Healthcare Financing Administration, according to a statement released by the hospital on Friday. Funding cuts and a dire need for nurses are the main reasons behind the move, said hospital spokeswoman Carol Lee.
Lee said hospital administrators have not decided on the number of beds that will be taken out of operation.
According to Lee, about 50 positions at the hospital have been cut over the last two years, during which time the hospital’s allotment from the V.I. general fund has been slashed by $2.2 million. She said a $2.5 million budget reduction for fiscal year 2002 will result in another 62 positions being cut.
In Senate Finance Committee budget hearings in August, Nellon Bowry, the hospital’s chief financial officer, told senators that the government’s funding of the facility has dropped each year since 1998, when it received $20.2 million. The hospital received $21.2 million in 1999, $18.9 million in 2000 and $16.5 in 2001.
At the same hearing, Darice Plaskett, vice president of nursing services at the hospital, said there is a need for 66 registered nurses, 46 licensed practical nurses, 29 certified nursing assistants, 13 unit secretaries, two clinical care coordinators and one head nurse. She said a critical shortage of nurses on the mainland is affecting the situation in the territory, particularly when other jurisdictions can offer signing bonuses of between $3,000 and $10,000.

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Oct. 13, 2001 -- Staff shortages and budget cuts have forced a reduction in the number of acute-care beds at St. Croix’s Juan F. Luis Hospital.
The reduction is being made to meet the patient-staff ratio set by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospital Organization and Healthcare Financing Administration, according to a statement released by the hospital on Friday. Funding cuts and a dire need for nurses are the main reasons behind the move, said hospital spokeswoman Carol Lee.
Lee said hospital administrators have not decided on the number of beds that will be taken out of operation.
According to Lee, about 50 positions at the hospital have been cut over the last two years, during which time the hospital’s allotment from the V.I. general fund has been slashed by $2.2 million. She said a $2.5 million budget reduction for fiscal year 2002 will result in another 62 positions being cut.
In Senate Finance Committee budget hearings in August, Nellon Bowry, the hospital’s chief financial officer, told senators that the government’s funding of the facility has dropped each year since 1998, when it received $20.2 million. The hospital received $21.2 million in 1999, $18.9 million in 2000 and $16.5 in 2001.
At the same hearing, Darice Plaskett, vice president of nursing services at the hospital, said there is a need for 66 registered nurses, 46 licensed practical nurses, 29 certified nursing assistants, 13 unit secretaries, two clinical care coordinators and one head nurse. She said a critical shortage of nurses on the mainland is affecting the situation in the territory, particularly when other jurisdictions can offer signing bonuses of between $3,000 and $10,000.