Doug Ford asks hospitals whether COVID-19 vaccinations should be mandatory for their workers

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Should Ontario make COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for all hospital workers?

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Premier Doug Ford asked hospital owners and health care experts in a letter sent Friday, citing the trade-off between a potential outbreak and staff shortages as some workers would refuse to quit or be fired. will be given.

“This is a very complex issue with real risks on both sides,” he told a news conference on Friday, again urging all healthcare workers to be vaccinated.

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While several Ontario hospital systems have made vaccination mandatory, including the University Health Network and Windsor Regional Hospital in Toronto, others have not.

Ford said, “The best issue to protect our hospitals has come to the fore once again as we have seen Quebec delay implementing its vaccine mandate for hospital workers, with B.C. softening them.” ,” said about 15 percent of the workers. The Ontario health system remains uninfected.

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This means that mandatory vaccinations could cost employees “in the thousands”, the premier said.

“While some have called for a provincewide mandate, any decision to do so has to be weighed against the real risk of staff shortages that could compromise care.”

Hospitals that have instituted mandatory vaccination have suggested that potential outbreaks of the highly contagious delta version of COVID-19 will reduce staff losses, and that the mandate is necessary to protect patients.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Kieran Moore said all health care workers should consider it their “duty” to vaccinate.

“For 48 hours before you have symptoms, you can carry that virus and transmit it,” warns Moore. “We may all have the best methods of infection prevention and control, but we see ongoing gaps and risks for our patients.”

New Democrat Leader Andrea Horvath said Ford could quickly strengthen health care staff by repealing Bill 124, which raises wages for nurses, among others.

Rob Ferguson is a Toronto-based reporter who covers Ontario politics for the Star. Follow him on Twitter: @RobFerguson1
Robert Benzie Starr is Queens Park’s bureau chief and a reporter covering Ontario politics. Follow him on Twitter: @robertbenzie
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