By: Laura Steiner
Ontario Premier Doug Ford will not force Ontario’s hospital workers to be vaccinated. He made the decision in a statement released late yesterday afternoon.
“The reality is that because of high vaccination rates among hospital workers and robust prevention and control (IPAC) measures, including frequent testing of any hospital worker who isn’t vaccinated, only six out for 141 public hospital systems or less than 5% currently have an COVID-19 outbreak,” Ford said in a lengthy statement.
The Ontario Hospital Association questioned the Ford Government ‘s leadership on the file. “The Public Hospitals Act already requires hospitals to have communicable disease policies in place requiring proof of vaccination/immunity for 17 conditions including measles, rubella, varicella, and tuberculosis. COVID-19 should be treated no differently,” OHA President and CEO Anthony Dale said in a statement released to the group’s website.
“This is a confusing decision,” Ontario NDP Andrea Horwath said as part of her response. She was concerned about vulnerable populations. “Unvaccinated staff should not be allowed in the ICU, in pediatric wards with sick babies, in the homes of vulnerable home care patients, or anywhere at all in health care, or in our schools,” she told a press conference according to CTV News.
Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca accused the Premier of pleasing the anti-vaccine community. “He’s putting our most vulnerable patients in harm’s way because he’s scared that the Conservative anti-vax community won’t support his re-election otherwise,” he tweeted
Ford fears that a COVID-19 vaccine mandate will trigger the departure of healthcare workers. “Experience in other Canadian jurisdictions tells us that implementing a province-wide vaccine mandate for hospital workers can negatively impact the care patients receive,” Ford said. An estimated 3,000 healthcare workers were fired following the introduction of a mandatory COVID-19 vaccine mandate for healthcare workers.
By: Laura Steiner