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UCLA Hospital System Can't Heal Itself

March 02, 2003

"Cash-Poor UCLA Hospitals Hire Advisors" (Feb. 25), about the UCLA hospitals' dire financial straits, raises some interesting questions. They eliminated 434 positions in the last three years and plan to cut 450 more in the coming three years. At the same time, they plan to push more patients through this downsized staff so they can make more money to pay the obscenely bloated salaries and bonuses of the administrators who got them into this financial mess -- such as more than half a million dollars a year to an administrator whose only idea of how to get out of the hole is to hire a consultant. It sounds like a line from the Dilbert comic strip.

Have these administrators no shame? Dr. Michael Karpf, vice provost of UCLA's hospital systems, was offered more money to take a job elsewhere? I recommend that he take it.

Harvey S. Frey MD

Santa Monica

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