Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Florida fires 1,890 prison health care workers

The Florida Department of Corrections signed a $230 million contract with Corizon Healthcare of Nashville to provide all health care in central and north Florida prisons and is negotiating contract terms with Wexford Health Sources of Pittsburgh to take over health care in nine South Florida prisons for $48 million a year.

As a result, the state has fired 1,890 state employees. Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s decision is the nation’s biggest outsourcing of prison health care, reported the Miami Herald.

“Due to the outsourcing of this function, your position will be deleted,” reads a dryly worded dismissal notice from the Department of Correction. In the dismissal letters, prison officials emphasize that dismissed workers will get first consideration for new jobs at one of the two for-profit vendors, though with fewer benefits. The workers also expect to pay more out of their pockets for their own health insurance.

Many make less than $35,000 a year, have not had a raise in six years and live in economically distressed areas, reported the Herald.

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