Hawaii hospital workers jobless on Christmas Eve

December 23, 2011 - 8:10 PM

HONOLULU (AP) — More than 200 employees at a pair of bankrupt hospitals in Hawaii are getting notices that they're losing their jobs on Christmas Eve.

The operators of the Hawaii Medical Center hospitals on Oahu plan to close the facilities, putting nearly 1,000 people out of work. More than 200 got notices Friday saying they'll be laid off effective Saturday.

The closures were announced after the hospitals' former owner and largest secured creditor objected to a potential sale.

Less than 60 patients remain at the hospitals. Hawaii Medical Center CEO Maria Kostylo says they will be discharged or transferred in the next week or two.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports that state officials are bracing for the closures to swell Hawaii's unemployment rate at a time when jobs are already hard to come by.