Coronavirus Illinois: Struggling state hospital systems announce furloughs; collectively losing $1.4B a month

They're hailed as the heroes fighting on the frontlines but a growing number of Illinois healthcare workers are finding themselves sidelined by hospitals struggling to keep up with massive financial losses.

Employing over 8,000 people, Edward Elmhurst Health is among the latest to announce pay cuts and furloughs.

"We've never seen anything like this before," said Danny Chun with the Illinois Health and Hospital Association. "Collectively across the state hospital systems are losing $1.4 billion dollars a month. That doesn't include the cost of the pandemic itself."

According to the Illinois Health and Hospital Association, hospitals have seen outpatient procedures reduced by 50 to 70 percent since mid-March. Inpatient procedures are down 30 to 50 percent.

"We have considered ourselves to be a recession proof profession," said Susan Swart, Executive Director, American Nurses Association-Illinois. "I think the biggest thing that we're dealing with now is just how dependent our institutions have been on elective procedures.

Already at the University of Chicago Hospitals, where the largest number of Covid-19 patients have been tended to, at least 800 employees have been furloughed.

Loyola University Medical Center and Lurie Children's Hospital have also announced furloughs. Hospital officials said, many of these measures are expected to continue throughout the summer.
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