Healthcare Labor Shortage Hitting Home As Federal Judge Intervenes


Vaccine Mandates Have Caused Mass Resignations and Placed Hospitals in Crisis

From Staff Reports, 9/14/21

The perfect storm that was discussed recently on this site is already upon Wellsville and almost every community in New York State that is fortunate enough to have a hospital like Jones Memorial Hospital. Covid admissions are increasing with community spread, putting pressure on already understaffed healthcare facilities. Hospital administration is about to go from crisis mode into a nightmarish new reality. They just received a lifeline from a federal judge, halting the mandate for all healthcare workers to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

The decision came just as New York hospitals were faced with a lose-lose scenario. After listening to a rural Tennessee hospital CEO explain that they would be closing down until they could re-staff, it was clear that the projected perfect storm had arrived. Today the Olean Times Herald lead story headline was:

Olean General Hospital: 11 Staff Quit Over State Vaccine Mandate

Unofficial reports that Jones Memorial Hospital will suffer a similar level of resignations puts a much more urgent tone to what CEO James Helms told Allegany Hope last week: “That’s where the danger lies.”

The headline image from NPR is becoming a more common theme by the day. Another national news outlet reported that in five states, ICU capacity has almost reached capacity. In Idaho, hospitals in neighboring Washington state are literally telling out-of-state residents that they won’t be able to help. Read that sobering account from the northwestern part of the nation.

Federal Judge David Hurd issued the decision today after a motion filed in the Northern District of New York. His temporary order comes about two weeks before the mandate was set to take effect. Lawyers will begin making arguments on the mandates legal viability on September 28th.

Senator George Borrello of the 57th District was quick to praise the decision by the judge:

“It is encouraging that a federal judge has temporarily blocked the state’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for health care workers in response to a legal challenge claiming violation of Constitutional religious rights.
This is a positive step that I hope is the impetus for the state to withdraw the mandate altogether. Whether the objections are religious, medical or personal, no one should be forced to take a vaccine against their will. The right path to vaccination is by building consensus and confidence, not through coercion, shaming and threats of termination.
As I stated in my letter to Governor Hochul and Commissioner Zucker, the practical effects of these mandates will be devastating to health care facilities, particularly in rural areas like ours. Understaffing has been an ongoing issue and a mandate like this one will only encourage more people to leave the health care sector. In our region, we are already seeing health care workers quit their jobs in opposition to the mandate.
I urge the Governor and Commissioner to reverse course immediately before irreversible harm is done to our vital health care facilities and our individual liberties.”

Read more from The Gothamist

Previous Article

NYSUT applauds Cuba-Rushford’s Carly Santangelo as New York State’s 2022 Teacher of the Year

Next Article

Food, a 5K, and Halloween Decorations Dominate Village Board Meeting

You may also like