Carrying signs that read, “Some cuts don’t heal,” Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1991 members along with an estimated 200 doctors and nurses in March protested proposed cuts to Miami-Dade County’s public health services.
If enacted, the cuts would eliminate 4,500 jobs and close Jackson North Medical Center, Jackson South Community Hospital and a 27-bed portion of the emergency room at Jackson Memorial Hospital.
The protests grew so heated that the Jackson Health System governing board canceled a meeting scheduled at the time.
Despite worker protests, county administrators point out that even the proposed draconian budget reduction won’t balance the public health budget. The cuts would save the system $164.5 million, but still leave a $64 million deficit.
The administration estimates that without the cuts, the system will run out of money sometime this month.
For its part, SEIU has proposed alternative cuts that would scale back the cost of equipment and tests. Those cuts would save the system $23 million.