New York hospitals began terminating or suspending healthcare employees on Monday for refusing to acquire the COVID-19 vaccine despite a state order, and as a result of the staff shortages, several hospitals have had to postpone elective surgeries or reduce services. The state of New York’s mandate for health-care employees to acquire the COVID-19 vaccination took effect at midnight on Monday.
Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City said at a press conference that the mandate had not yet had a significant impact on the city’s hospitals, but he expressed concern about other parts of the state where vaccination rates are lower.
More than two dozen health care professionals have already been fired by certain hospital networks, including Northwell Health. Others will be given 30 days to get vaccinated against COVID or suffer losing their jobs.
Officials estimate that 83,000 persons or 16% of the state’s healthcare personnel are not completely vaccinated. Approximately 8% have not received a single dose, placing them at a higher chance of being terminated.
Various Hospitals And Their Initiatives
Steven Corwin, president and CEO of New York-Presbyterian Hospitals, one of the country’s top medical systems, believes that a mandate is necessary to ensure that everyone is completely vaccinated. 30% of its employees were unvaccinated before the company’s own vaccination deadline last week.
Catholic Health, one of Western New York’s largest healthcare providers, stated it had reached 100% compliance, counting those who had been vaccinated, those who had received exemptions, and some who had been suspended without pay. JoAnne Cavanaugh, a spokeswoman for the company, refused to specify how many employees had been suspended or given religious or medical exemptions. A “limited number” of elective surgery had to be postponed, according to Catholic Health.
As it prepares to terminate hundreds of unvaccinated personnel, Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo has postponed elective inpatient procedures and stopped taking intensive-care patients from other hospitals, according to a spokesperson Peter Cutler. About 5% of the workforce at Erie County Medical Center, or about 400 people, are unvaccinated and on leave.
Cutler claimed that the decision to halt some surgeries would cause discomfort to patients as well as financial harm to the facility. He estimates that elective inpatient procedures bring in roughly $1 million every week.
The vaccine requirement for teachers in New York City is set to take effect later this week. The teachers’ union claims that % of its members have been vaccinated, while the city claims that over the weekend, approximately 7,000 education personnel were vaccinated.