Glendale Memorial Hospital employees protested planned layoffs at the facility Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013.

Glendale Memorial Hospital employees protested planned layoffs at the facility Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013. (Raul Roa/Staff photographer / January 31, 2013)

Nurses, technicians and other employees gathered outside Glendale Memorial Hospital Thursday morning to protest planned layoffs.

The hospital last week announced plans to layoff an undetermined number of employees, citing an increase in the number of uninsured patients caused by the lengthy economic recession and cuts in government insurance programs.

The 334-bed hospital also reported seeing fewer patients in recent months.

One of the city’s other major hospitals, Glendale Adventist Medical Center, laid off 21 workers  two months ago in response to federal healthcare payment reform and other industry shifts.

Glendale Memorial Hospital has said the decision to lay off employees was in the preliminary stages, so it was not yet known how many workers would be affected, which positions would be eliminated or when the layoffs would occur.

Protesters said the layoffs would impact patient care at the facility.

The planned cuts come at a time when hospitals across the region are bracing for the impact of the federal Affordable Care Act, which executives say will greatly expand the number of previously uninsured people coming through their doors in the year ahead.

Glendale Memorial Hospital released a statement to KTLA-TV Thursday morning, saying it regretted any inconvenience the protest might cause patients, physicians and staff, and that “we remain eager and willing to resolve contract issues in a respectful and professional manner.”

--Jason Wells, Times Community News

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