El Camino Hospital expects to axe 140 employees

El Camino Hospital of Los Gatos and Mountain View says it will likely lay off 140 employees by the end of October as a result of the ongoing recession. El Camino sent out letters on Aug. 12 to 195 employees who may be pink-slipped.

“We don’t yet know who those people are,” spokeswoman Chris Ernst said, “but Mountain View will be more impacted than Los Gatos because there are more people working there.”

There are approximately 460 employees in Los Gatos and 2,600 in Mountain View.

Ernst said steps were being taken to ensure the layoffs do not affect customer care, estimating that no more than 15 percent of the layoffs would involve nurses. Doctors work under contract, so they are not employees.

Hospital support staff and administrators are likely to feel the brunt of the cutbacks. “We’d hoped we’d be able to avoid this by making improvements in non-labor things,” Ernst said. Last December, El Camino undertook a cost-saving and revenue improvement program that has so far identified approximately $60 million to $70 million in savings and benefits.

El Camino’s 2009-10 fiscal year income was $36 million, with the Los Gatos hospital reporting a $1.7 million profit for its first year of operations.

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