By RICK GREEN, LACONIA DAILY SUN

LACONIA — LRGHealthcare announced a series of cost-cutting moves Tuesday, including closure of a labor and delivery unit at Lakes Region General Hospital, an end to operating rooms at Franklin Regional Hospital and 16 layoffs.

Also closing will be the Moultonborough Family Practice, the Newfound Family Practice, Laconia Clinic Pediatrics and the Laconia Clinic Lab.

The health system's board said it was merging and consolidating facilities and programs to address “unexpected financial challenges that have emerged over the last couple of months.”

LRGHealthcare will continue to provide prenatal, postnatal, women's health and pediatric care, but babies will be delivered at Concord Hospital through a collaboration.

Last month, LRGHealthcare said it was considering changes after light patient volume combined with low payments in October through December had hurt financial performance. The not-for-profit organization had an operating loss of more than $1 million in October and November and was expecting further losses.

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