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Report says Arizona hospitals have $24 billion economic impact

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PHOENIX — Arizona hospitals have a multibillion impact on the state’s economy, a report released this week said.

“Hospitals represent a critical driver of the Arizona economy, helping directly and indirectly generate 177,000 jobs and $24 billion in economic impact,” Jim Rounds, the president of the agency behind the study, Rounds Consulting Group, said.

The Arizona Hospital and Health Care Association said those jobs are nearly split down the middle when it comes to full-time and part-time positions.

“(About) 87,000 of those are direct, full-time employees,” Greg Ensell with the agency said.

The Mayo Clinic had the largest economic impact of any hospital at more than $2 billion. It employs a total of 6,710 people.

Phoenix Children’s Hospital, St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center and Banner-University Medical Center Phoenix all had economic impacts greater than $1 billion.

Arizona hospitals performed about 441,000 surgeries and accounted for 82,000 births in 2015.

The report also said having a good health care and hospital system is key to one of Arizona’s other large industries: tourism.

“This report makes clear that Arizona hospitals are essential not only to the health of Arizona citizens, but also to the overall health of our state and local economy,” Arizona Hospital and Health Care Association President Greg Vidor said in a press release.

However, that impact could be reduced should the federal government reduce health care funding as nursing school graduates would likely struggle to find work.

“If the federal government should make further cutbacks, unfortunately, many of those nursing graduates may not have the opportunities they did a few years ago,” Ensell said.

KTAR’s Ashley Flood contributed to this report.

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