The Jakarta Post
The Anutapura Public Hospital in Palu, Central Sulawesi, has dismissed 400 contract workers, including nurses, midwives and housekeepers, because of declining revenues following the deadly earthquake and tsunami that hit the region in September.
“We had 800 contract workers but because our revenues are declining, we didn’t have a better option but to lay off 400 of them,” hospital director Ruslan Ramli told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.
The hospital's revenues dropped to Rp 1.1 billion (US$77,654) per month from Rp 10 billion per month after the disaster damaged 70 percent of the hospital buildings.
“We can’t possibly pay the salaries of contract workers – we can barely cover operational costs. We didn’t have a choice,” he said.
Before the disaster, the hospital had 553 beds. However, now the hospital can only run 200 beds while the Public Works and Housing Ministry is refurbishing the earthquake-damaged parts of the buildings.
Ruslan said the hospital might be able to rehire the contract workers after the renovations are completed and revenues return to normal.
The Anutapura Public Hospital is the second largest hospital in Palu. The Undata Public Hospital, which is run by the Central Sulawesi administration, is the largest. (swd)