The Miami economy got a shock today when the county's largest private employer, the University of Miami, filed a notice that it plans to lay off 800 employees from its medical school. The move comes two weeks after university president Donna Shalala said the medical school was planning on cutting back.
In explaining the cutbacks, Shalala noted economic factors such as the recession, a downturn in research funding, and the amount of payments UM received from Jackson Health System.
Jackson is also in the midst of its own economic problems. University of Miami received lump payments from Jackson in exchange for the services of its doctors. Those payments have been dwindling as Jackson has cut back its own services, and the two institutions are working on a new payment system.
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The school employs roughly 16,000 people. So today's layoff announcement will affect about 5 percent of the total staff.