John Sealy Hospital re-opens

November 24, 2008 5:47:18 AM PST
There's a good story and a bad story coming out of Galveston today and both of them involve UTMB. It's good news for Galveston, yet it is still bad for many on the island. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

John Sealy Hospital is opening its doors today. The hospital has been closed since Hurricane Ike hit the island more than two months ago. Since then, the hospital has only been able to treat minor injuries and deliver babies.

This morning, the hospital will start operating a 200 bed unit. The emergency room can still only treat minor injuries. More serious cases will be transported to other hospitals.

Hospital officials will re-evaluate things every two weeks to determine if more services are needed or if they can even handle more services.

As we have reported, UTMB just laid off 3,000 of its employees. The largest number of those folks worked at John Sealy Hospital. Many of them had not actually been able to return to work since the hurricane because the building itself was too damaged.

UTMB officials tell us all of the 3,000 employees who are being laid off should have received notification by today. Hospital officials say they simply couldn't afford to keep all of its 12,000 employees, but hope to hire many of them back once the hospital is fully operational again. But that could be couple of years from now.

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