The leadership at Southcoast Hospital Group is advising employees of layoffs in the near future.

In a letter to employees and medical staff members, hospital officials say the Affordable Care Act is creating significant financial challenges for Southcoast Hospitals.

President Keith Hovan says the Group is looking to transfer employees to other jobs in the system, but they expect to make 50 to 60 layoffs over the next three months.

Hovan says the layoffs will occur in several departments, affecting both leadership and staff positions, union and non-union. Hovan writes, there is no decision harder for him because he knows it affects not only a valued staff member, but also their family.

The Hospital Group is also scheduling "town hall" meetings next week for employees and medical staff to further explain the changes.

The group operates St. Luke's Hospital in New Bedford, Charlton Memorial Hospital in Fall River, and Tobey Hospital in Wareham.