In preparation for Monday vax deadline, Hochul publishes “Comprehensive plan to address preventable health workforce shortage”
Metro Creative Connection
Sat Sep 25, 2021 10:40 AM
The plan includes the preparation of a state of emergency declaration to supplement the supply of manpower in health facilities
Would allow qualified healthcare professionals licensed in other states or countries, recent graduates, retired and formerly practicing healthcare professionals to practice in New York
√ Other options include deploying a medically trained National Guard, requesting federal disaster medical assistance teams, working with the federal government to expedite visa applications for medical professionals
√ Governor is keen to ensure healthcare workers are vaccinated to protect public health
Ahead of Monday’s immunization deadline, Governor Kathy Hochul released what her team called “a comprehensive plan to address preventable staff shortages in hospitals and other health facilities across the state.”
Hochul said, “We are still in a battle against COVID to protect our loved ones, and we must fight with all the tools at our disposal. I am monitoring the staff situation closely and we have a plan to increase our healthcare workforce and help ease the burden on our hospitals and other healthcare facilities. I commend all of the healthcare workers who have stepped up to get vaccinated, and I urge all other healthcare workers who are not vaccinated to do so now so they can continue to provide care. “
The plan includes preparing for the signing of an executive decree if necessary to declare a state of emergency which aims to increase the supply of manpower and enable qualified health professionals licensed in other States or countries, new graduates, retirees and former medical professionals to practice in New York.
The Ministry of Labor has issued guidelines to clarify that workers dismissed due to refusal to be vaccinated are not eligible for unemployment insurance without a valid request for medical accommodation approved by a doctor.
Other options include deploying medically trained National Guard members and partnering with the federal government to deploy Disaster Medical Assistance Teams (DMATs) to help local health and medical systems. Additionally, Hochul plans to work with the federal government and other heads of state to explore ways to expedite visa applications for medical professionals.
As of September 22, 84% of all New York hospital workers were fully immunized. As of September 23, 81% of staff in all adult care facilities and 77% of all staff in New York City nursing homes were fully immunized.
According to regulations issued by the State Department of Health, all healthcare workers in New York City, in hospitals and nursing homes, must be vaccinated against COVID-19 with the first dose received by Monday, September 27, and staff from other covered entities, including home care, hospices and adult care facilities, must be vaccinated by October 7. The policy also applies to all outside and contract medical staff who practice in New York City.
New York State Nurses Association Executive Director Pat Kane said, “As nurses, we are committed to providing the best care to our patients and to working with the Governor on these efforts. . We need the right staff to protect our patients and colleagues, and we want to do everything we can to avoid reverting to crisis levels during the pandemic. We are grateful to Governor Hochul for his leadership and for his bold, strategic plan to support nurses, patients and ensure the best possible care.
Frederick E. Kowal, Ph.D., President of United University Professions, said: “UUP will continue to fight for adequate funding and staffing in SUNY hospitals and is committed to protecting the health and safety of our members and their patients. understand the action taken by Governor Hochul given the potential staff shortage. We remain hopeful that this measure will not be necessary. We continue to urgently call on all UUP members and New Yorkers to get immunized immediately. “
Catholic Health released the following statement regarding the state’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate on Friday:
Catholic Health supports Governor Hochul’s decision to move forward with New York State’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate at this critical time. It has been proven by science and data that the best way to end the COVID-19 pandemic is through vaccination and masking.
“Currently, however, the mandate does not provide for religious exemptions – an issue that faces many legal challenges in federal courts statewide. As a result, the state’s ability to enforce the immunization mandate in its current form after September 27, 2021 is temporarily suspended until at least October 12, 2021, or when the courts decide whether the state has the right to prohibit religious exemptions. .
“As Catholic Health cannot assess exemption requests based on sincere religious beliefs until the courts make their final decision, associates requesting a religious exemption will be allowed to work until the courts decide. whether health care providers can assess requests for religious accommodation.
“Any unvaccinated Catholic health associate who has not received a medical exemption or requested a religious exemption before 9 p.m. on September 26, 2021, will be placed on unpaid leave as of September 27, 2021, for a period of 30 days, after which they will be terminable unless they meet the conditions of the mandate.
“In addition to making the vaccine available to all associates, Catholic Health will continue to follow all proven safety measures to protect patients and staff, including universal masking and all necessary personal protective equipment, social distancing, frequent hand washing and hospital grade cleaning and disinfection practices.
“Currently, 83% of Catholic Health associates are in compliance with the immunization mandate. The health system is offering vaccines throughout the weekend and will assess whether non-urgent services will be affected after September 27. “