Hospital giant being silently squeezed past its limits amid pandemic
By The Star Staff
The severe drop in overall patients and the loss of revenue as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic has caused private hospitals across the island to furlough nurses and doctors, but Grupo HIMA San Pablo, Puerto Rico’s No. 2 hospital chain, announced the deepest cuts of all, according to a report in the Huffington Post.
In late April, the company, which operates five hospitals across the island’s populous northeast, said it would lay off or reduce hours for 2,000 of its 4,900 employees. The decision ― ultimately dialed back to 10 percent of its workers ― came just two weeks after a pediatrician at its medical center in the town of Caguas, south of San Juan, became the first doctor in Puerto Rico to die of COVID-19.
The lockdown of non-essential businesses also forced hospitals to cancel many procedures. People also have a fear of visiting hospitals because of the coronavirus.