A hospital CEO said on Wednesday that he won’t yet be enforcing the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate, as doing so could create a mass exodus of health care workers.
Dr. Randy Tobler, CEO of Scotland County Hospital in Missouri, shared his concerns in an interview with Fox News on Wednesday.
“If we lose more staff, we won’t be able to deliver the great care that people have become accustomed to in our area,” Tobler said.
“We’ve lost already many of our staff due to the emotional consequences of the COVID-19 crisis. And now on top of this, many have expressed their very sincere desire to resign or find another industry, do something else, other than get the vaccine,” he added.
The repercussions of the vaccine mandate could be dire, according to Tobler.
“This could be a crushing blow for our ability to deliver care to our community,” he said.
Tobler said 70 percent of his hospital’s income comes from Medicare and Medicaid. Once the vaccine mandate goes into effect, he plans to abide by the rules in order to continue receiving funds.
However, enforcing the mandate will have serious consequences.
“We are already running on fumes when it comes to staff,” Tobler said.
“If we lose a few more people due to resignations … we’ll have to turn people away because we simply won’t have the staff to deliver the care.”
Similar problems have already been encountered in New York. Gov. Kathy Hochul signed an executive order last month to address staffing shortages.
According to a statement on her website, the order authorizes out-of-state health care workers to practice in New York, implements a 24/7 operations center to monitor and troubleshoot staffing shortages, and allows recent graduates who are not yet registered and professionals without current registrations to practice without penalty.
“The only way we can move past this pandemic is to ensure that everyone eligible is vaccinated, and that includes those who are taking care of our vulnerable family members and loved ones,” Hochul said in the statement.
The thousands of New Yorkers who work in the health care industry were threatened with termination if they did not get the vaccine by Sept. 27.
According to Business Insider, the New York Department of Labor warned that those health care workers who were fired would not be able to collect unemployment benefits unless they had a doctor-approved medical exemption from the vaccine.
A federal judge ruled Tuesday that religious exemptions to receiving the vaccine must also be upheld in the state of New York for health care workers.
CORRECTION, Oct. 13, 2021: This article previously claimed that no religious exemption existed for health care workers in New York who did not wish to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. In fact, a federal judge ruled Tuesday that religious exemptions to receiving the vaccine must be upheld in the state of New York for health care workers.
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