Eastern Maine Medical Center has announced they will lay off nearly 50 people. They’re also in the process of offering early retirement to others.Sue Goetze has worked in medicine for nearly 40 years. She’s decided to accept the early retirement package offered by EMMC. “I haven’t not had a job since I was 12,” she says, “this is a big, big, huge thing for me. But I think overall, it is the right time and the right decision for me at this time.”The hospital announced in January they were reducing their work force by about 100 positions. They offered about 300 people an early retirement incentive, but say only about 50 employees accepted. To meet their job reduction goal, the hospital is now laying off close to 50 people, including 23 nurses. Jill Mcdonald is the V.P. of Communications and Market Development and she says several factors have put them in this position. “We give away millions & millions of dollars in patient care every year,” she says, “that also has to be accounted for. The people caring for those patients still need to be paid.”Mcdonald says another major factor is the lack of government reimbursements. “When reimbursements from government payers are declining we have to make adjustments for that without sacrificing quality,” says Mcdonald, “without it affecting our ability to effectively care for patients. There’s a balance.”The folks at EMMC say there is a new, uncertain reality in healthcare in Maine. “We have all kinds of variables at play here, we have private insurance companies, we have government payers, we have the government health overhaul which is a big question mark right now so we’re not sure.” Sue Goetze says the world of medicine has changed since she first began working here. “Medicine has been the place to go for job security and the whole nine yards and that atmosphere is changing.”The laid off workers will have first crack at any open positions in the hospital.