Thursday, January 20, 2011

California is BROKE But California Prisons Lay Off Dentists and Then Hire Dental Hygienists

I received a phone call today from a former State of California dentist who had practiced at a State Prison and who was laid off her job on January 14, 2011. She was looking for other employment opportunities and since we were once colleagues in South Lake Tahoe, she looked me up.

She told me essentially what is in this piece from October 2010.
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation is planning to eliminate 31 dentist jobs early next year.

The State Worker learned of the decision from this notice to members of the Union of American Physicians and Dentists and confirmed it with CDCR spokeswoman Terry Thornton.

The target date for the layoffs is Jan. 14. A total of 93 notices went out last month. Corrections has 294 prison dentists on staff.

While the UAPD note says that layoff warning notices went out, it doesn't mention that the department is going to hire dental hygienists to perform the routine cleanings and examinations. "We currently have just two hygienists in the entire system," Thornton said.

At $15,183 per month, a CDCR dentist earns more than three times the $4,763 hygienist monthly wage. The department plans to hire enough of the lower-salaried professionals to get the ratio down to 2000 inmates per each hygienist -- roughly two hygienists per dentist. That will free up prison dentists to focus on higher-level dental care.

Thornton said that the courts have signed off on the plan.
We all know the precarious nature of the California state budget deficit and the horribly overcrowded conditions of the California State Prisons. But, why not just let the dentists go and increase the ratio of inmates to dentist? Why hire dental hygienists to save $9K a month for each employee or about $300K per month for the entire system?

Well, California Corrections probably can't because the federal judge appointed administrator of the California Prison System thinks it is more humane to clean inmate's teeth rather than treat dental pain.

I don't really think the 30 plus dentists who were laid off did too much more than extractions or some basic restorations - and the hygienists can do those procedures?

Uh, NO!

This is another example of the public employee driven corrupt and insanely stupid California State government.

Anyone want to bet that an inmate or inmate support group sues the State of California in federal court because there are NO dentists available to treat their dental pain?

No comments:

Post a Comment