The numbers of the unemployed are continuing to grow in Puerto Rico, as the latest company to be affected is HIMA-San Pablo Hospitals, which announced that layoffs and cuts in hours would affect 2,000 of its 4,900 staff around the island.
HIMA-San Pablo operates four hospitals in Puerto Rico: Caguas, Bayamón, Humacao and Fajardo.
“Our organization has been seriously affected by the significant drop in hospital admissions, but operational costs have not gone down due to the great investment required in response to COVID-19,” said Claudia Guzmán, COO of Hima-San Pablo Hospitals. “In the absence of an immediate aid package, we have no other option but to make this difficult decision… The whole economy is suffering.”
As of last week, there were at least 175,000 people in Puerto Rico who were recently laid off or furloughed due to the coronavirus pandemic. In terms of the medical sector, San Jorge Children & Women’s Hospital in San Juan, Bayamón Medical Center and various 330 Health Centers around the island have also had to lay off staff.
Gerson Guzmán López, president of the General Union of Workers (UGT by its Spanish initials), denounced the layoffs and cuts in hours. He also continued to denounce the lack of materials and personal protection equipment for health workers, who are in the front lines of the coronavirus crisis.