North Memorial Health Care in Robbinsdale is cutting 100 positions, or about 2 percent of its hospital's workforce, the latest in a string of layoffs in the once recession-proof medical industry.

A combination of reduced hours and layoffs will affect 170 employees. This is the second round of cuts in six months at North Memorial. In December, it eliminated 380 jobs, or 7 percent of its workforce.

The hospital's patient volumes are falling because of the weak economy. At the same time, more of those who come in are uninsured or under-insured. North Memorial has absorbed $17.5 million in bad debt, charity care and discounts for the uninsured so far this year.

"These changes will not compromise patient safety and will not affect patient care," said chief executive David Cress.

Minnesota hospitals have cut a total of about 2,000 jobs since the recession started.