LITTLE CURRENT – Officials with Manitoulin Health Centre (MHC) report that they are close to reaching 100 percent fully vaccinated status for employees in the hospital system and expect this mark will eventually be reached.
“Currently we are at 96.1 percent of hospital employees, nurses, physicians and board members who are fully vaccinated,” Paula Fields, co-chief executive officer (co-CEO) and vice-president of clinical services of MHC told The Expositor last week. “And with it being mandatory (in MHC) for them to be fully vaccinated (two vaccines) in about two weeks’ time (December 7) we expect these numbers will increase to 99 percent and eventually to 100 percent.”
“All our nurses, physicians and board members are fully vaccinated at this point,” said Ms. Fields.
As had been previously reported, MHC had established a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy for hospital workers, physicians and locums, tenants, contractors and hospital board members.
As of November 12, all staff had to have at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. This includes all employees, tenants in our buildings, such as HSN (Health Sciences North) dialysis and mental health personnel and contractors (i.e. work crews currently working at the Mindemoya Hospital on emergency department renovations. They were also required to provide proof of having the first dose by November 12 and evidence of having had both vaccine doses by December 7. And then, basically, if they have not complied, they will be issued a leave-without-pay notice and eventually will be terminated from their employment, explained Ms. Fields.
For professional staff, physicians and locums who have not complied with the mandatory vaccinations, the MHC will remove their credentials so they can’t work in our hospitals, said Ms. Fields. “MHC can’t mandate patients but are looking to make it mandatory for visitors to be double vaccinated and provide proof of this.”
Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced November 3 that he wouldn’t make COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for hospital workers. The premier said the government would keep monitoring the situation but for now will leave the decision to mandate vaccines up to individual hospitals.
“We are very proud of our team,” stated Ms. Fields. “We know that some other hospitals in Northeastern Ontario have not implemented mandatory vaccine policy and that if they had made it mandatory, they could lose some of their resources and some of their ability to provide patient care.”