Mendocino Coast District Hospital has laid off 20 employees in an effort to save $1.5 million per year in wages and benefits.

The action followed losses of nearly $1.9 million during the first six months of the hospital's fiscal year.

"The reductions will not compromise patient quality and/or safety," hospital CEO/CFO Wayne Allen said in a statement. "I do not expect additional cuts in the foreseeable future."

The Fort Bragg hospital filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection in October in an effort to save the facility from drowning in debt.

The cuts, effective Feb. 12, were based on seniority, and affected employees will receive severance pay.

"As I promised the board at our last meeting, the poor financial performance is not sustainable and action steps would be taken to reduce our losses for the year," Allen said.