Health care workers submitting “mass resignation letters” over state’s vaccine requirement, Republicans say


ALBANY, N.Y. (WIVB) – Republicans within the New York State Senate are warning that vaccine necessities for well being care employees might drive a lot of them to give up, moderately than get the shot. By September twenty seventh, with restricted exceptions, all employees at New York State’s hospitals and nursing properties can have needed to obtain a minimum of their first COVID-19 vaccine dose. That deadline is October seventh for different well being care employees.

“(W)e have heard from healthcare employees throughout New York State in varied healthcare settings,” they wrote in a letter to Governor Kathy Hochul and New York State Well being Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker, which was signed by 13 senators. “They point out that native nursing properties and hospitals have already obtained mass resignation letters from employees attributable to such requirement.”

Rob Ortt, the North Tonawanda senator who serves because the Republican minority chief, visited the Northgate Well being Care Facility in North Tonawanda Monday.

“Out of 300 staff in Niagara County, they wish to lose over 90,” Ortt mentioned.

The federal authorities is implementing the same vaccine requirement for Medicare and Medicaid licensed services. Ortt mentioned that’s “equally problematic and regarding”.

On the Buffalo Heart and Ellicott Heart nursing properties, that are operated by Facilities Well being Care, officers say whereas it has been heard that some staff have mentioned resigning, nothing has been submitting in writing thus far.

“With concerning to informing the employees of the September 27 mandate, management at Facilities Well being Care labored with the administration places of work at each Buffalo and Ellicott Heart to distribute a letter following the state’s announcement to every employees worker explaining the mandate,” mentioned Jeff Jacomowitz, a spokesperson for Facilities Well being Care. Thus far, each services haven’t seen any mass resignations, however actually, we’ve got seen a rise of vaccinations amongst our Licensed Nursing Assistants.

“This demonstrates the dedication our nurses have for our residents.”

Of their letter, the senate Republicans urged the governor and well being commissioner to supply a test-out choice for well being care employees unwilling to get the vaccine.

Stephen Hanse, the president of the New York State Well being Amenities Affiliation and New York State Heart for Assisted Residing, additionally wrote to Dr. Zucker endorsing a test-out choice, a minimum of quickly. Hanse identified 94% of 201 expert nursing suppliers who responded to a survey his group performed mentioned they’re at the moment experiencing employees shortages as it’s.

“The info reveals that these healthcare workforce shortages are occurring in all counties all through the state,” Hanse wrote.

In an announcement, the New York State Division of Well being acknowledged staffing shortages, and mentioned they might hearken to any and all enter that helps to guard sufferers, guests, the general public, and well being care employees. However in addition they careworn the significance of the requirement.

“The Division is conscious of potential staffing considerations nonetheless our overriding focus is the safety of sufferers and residents in our healthcare settings, which is why everybody who’s medically in a position must be vaccinated, particularly healthcare employees who work together and look after our most susceptible in danger New Yorkers,” well being officers wrote within the assertion.

Proper now, 87% of ECMC’s staff are vaccinated, based on hospital employees. They had been unable to say whether or not any of their employees could be resigning over this mandate.

“(A)ll employees had been notified final week of the New York State vaccination mandate, which set September 27th because the deadline for vaccination. At the moment, we will present correct info on this topic,” hospital spokesperson Peter Cutler mentioned in an e mail.

Chris Horvatits is an award-winning reporter who joined the Information 4 staff in December 2017. See extra of his work right here.