Ontario hospitals seeing low rates of staff losses to mandatory vaccine policies

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TORONTO – Several Ontario hospitals have placed or terminated staff on unpaid leave because of mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policies, but they say the numbers are relatively small and will not affect patient care.

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A spokesman for Cambridge Memorial Hospital said 51 staff members who have either not been vaccinated or would not share their condition have been placed on leave.

“As this is a small number and is spread across corporate and clinical services, we are confident that there will be no impact on patient care,” Stefan Beckhoff said in a statement.


He said that about 97 percent of the employees have been either fully or partially vaccinated and have certified that they will receive both doses by November 9.

About 30 staff members at St Mary’s General Hospital are expected to be placed on unpaid leave on Wednesday.

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Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare in Windsor, Ont. said it terminated 24 employees with no reason last week, and since it accounts for only two percent of its workforce, it has been able to fill in the gaps to cover the schedule.

“We developed contingency plans ahead of the policy deadline, including two weeks of unpaid suspension of employees who did not comply with the policy at the time,” spokesman Bill Marra said in a written statement.

“With a 98 percent compliance rate on deadlines, we are able to accommodate all gaps in our schedules through our part-time work force by increasing working hours and, when necessary, overtime hours for some employees.”

There has been no impact on the delivery of programs and services, he added.

The 24 employees include eight registered practical nurses, five registered nurses, as well as environmental service workers, rehab assistants, administrative staff, and others.

Wellington Health Care Alliance will put two percent of its employees on leave on Wednesday who have not received their first dose. This equates to 14 people at three sites and a spokesperson said they do not expect any disruption to hospital services or programs.

RELATED: Nearly 80 unaffiliated workers on indefinite leave from Toronto long-term care home

Many more hospitals have set 15 or 31 October as deadlines for mandatory vaccinations, as well as some other dates.

A spokeswoman for Health Minister Christine Elliott said the government has invested more than $52 million to recruit, retain and support more than 3,700 front-line health workers and recently recruited and retain nurses. Has announced $61 million to keep.

A group of long-term care home and retirement home chains also set a deadline for Tuesday Vaccination for employees or being placed on unpaid leave. He did not disclose the number of employees who were laid off, but most said they achieved high vaccination rates, with 96 percent of employees receiving at least one dose.

Ontario Log 458 new cases of COVID-19 were reported on Monday and 390 new cases were reported on Tuesday, and two deaths in two days.
More than 87 percent of eligible Ontarians have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and approximately 82.4 percent have received both.

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