Hundreds of layoffs coming to W. Houston hospital

March 22, 2010 4:53:31 PM PDT
Hundreds of people are now set to be laid off from a medical center in west Houston. Its operators say they've seen fewer and fewer patients, so they're looking for ways to remain open. We told you last week that Spring Branch Medical Center was stopping its in-patient services. Now, its operators are taking another step, and we're learning details about the hundreds of layoffs.

The hospital has been on shaky financial footing for years, according to employees with whom we spoke. Officials say the facility has 299 beds and typically only about 80 are filled.

The hospital owners have been trying to strike a deal to keep the facility open, but that hasn't yet happened. And the soon-to-be laid off workers -- around 700 in all -- might be able to find jobs at other HCA Gulf Coast division hospitals. We're told job fairs are being held to help those employees find jobs.

"What can I do? I just continue to look," said supply tech Carlos Thompson. "Life isn't over. Life is a constant grind, so I'm going to get back on the horse."

While in-patient services will end on May 1, the emergency room, oncology programs and imagery services will stay open.

According to the hospital's website, Spring Branch Medical Center has been open since 1958. In The hospital says even with the cuts it will still be able to take care of 40 percent of its current patients.