The US state of New York is looking at emergency solutions as tens of thousands of healthcare workers may not meet a vaccination obligation next week. Among other things, it is considered to engage the National Guard and seek medical personnel in other states. For example, staff shortages in hospitals and other medical centers should be avoided, writes The New York Times newspaper.
New York is seen as one of the first places in the United States where the consequences of a far more stringent vaccination policy in healthcare will become clear. Hospital staff will be given until midnight on Monday to get a first dose of a corona vaccine. Refusals can lose their jobs. California and Maine also come with such a vaccination obligation for healthcare personnel.
70 thousand people
The stricter policy could lead to mass redundancies in healthcare. Recent figures have shown that some 16 percent of around 450,000 hospital workers in New York have not yet been fully vaccinated. That‘s about 70,000 people. “I think a lot of unvaccinated employees, not just nurses, count on them to be so essential that they don’t get fired after all,” the head of union New York Professional Nurses Union (NYPNU) told the newspaper.
Governor Kathy Hochul announced on Saturday that she is preparing to declare a state of emergency. For example, qualified licensed medical personnel can also be deployed in New York in other states. Medical trained National Guard staff can also be called upon. It also looks at whether people with medical experience can get a visa faster.
Nurses Association NYPNU supports the vaccination obligation, but does think Hochul presents her emergency plan very late. That happened about 48 hours before thousands of caregivers could lose their jobs. Such a mass discharge can be disastrous, according to union director Eileen Toback, because hospitals can‘t actually miss people. “There’s no fat on the bones.”