Posted: 5:20 p.m. Thursday, April 18, 2013

Orlando Health shutting down Lucerne Pavilion hospital services

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Lucerne Pavilion photo
Lucerne Pavilion

ORLANDO, Fla. —

Dozens of Orlando Health employees could soon be unemployed.

The healthcare giant plans to close down hospital services at Lucerne Pavillion as early as this summer to save money.

The 174 patient beds at Lucerne Pavilion will soon move across town to the Orlando Health's main facility.

With the move will go an unknown number of jobs.

Lucerne Pavilion is only a half mile from Orlando Regional Medical Center.

Patients say it couldn't be more different.

"The crazy parking in particular down there at ORMC costs a fortune for one, and for two it's very difficult to navigate," said patient Elisabeth Prescott.

Lily Martinez is going to school to be a registered nurse, what she thought was a recession-proof position.

"Lack of employment is a big problem in our community," Martinez said.

Martinez doesn't think they should close the facility.

Officials said the rehabilitation institute and other administrative services will stay at the Lucerne Pavilion location for now.

Orlando Health officials said in a statement the move is based on efficiency enhancements and expense reduction.

They said they expect to save about $7 million per year.

"I'd be more concerned about having people work versus a hospital being able to make more money," Prescott said.

Officials said the move will make some hospital rooms semi-private, meaning there will be two beds instead of one.

Meanwhile, Florida Hospital East is breaking ground on its new emergency department expansion Friday.

It will double the size of the emergency room from 36 beds to 65 beds.

Construction is expected to take two years to complete.

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