Unvaccinated Workers Could be Hired at Ontario Hospital Amid Staff Shortages

The health network is reviewing its COVID-19 vaccination policy to try and hire unvaccinated healthcare workers. Hospitals across Canada are suffering from staff shortages that have led to patients not getting the care they need. Now, the health network is trying to find people who want to work regardless of their vaccination status.

The health network runs four hospitals in Chesley, Durham, Kincardine, and Walkerton. All of them had to close down their Emergency Departments due to staff shortages. The network issues a memo that is reviewing its COVID-19 vaccination policy and gauging staff reaction to the option of hiring unvaccinated healthcare workers.

Anne Laxton, a registered nurse, explained that when she applied to work at the hospital system, Anne was rejected because she did not get the COVID-19 vaccines for personal reasons. However, she is willing to work and wants the hospital to hire her. She also stated that she does not have a problem in wearing full PPE while she works.

Notably, these hospitals have COVID-19-positive healthcare workers working due to staff shortages.

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B.C. Nova Scotia and Ontario are the only three provinces that still have COVID-19 vaccination restrictions for workers. The healthcare network in most provinces abandoned this requirement.

As for the unvaccinated nurses who were fired or resigned, they feel sad about what the staff is going through. They state that not getting the vaccine was their choice but they are willing to work wearing full PPE gear. They added that the decision to terminate their employment for not getting the vaccine was harsh.

On the other hand, St. Joseph’s communications officer Dahlia Reich told CTV News in an email that the hospital’s policy on COVID-19 vaccination remains the same.

Canada’s medical system is struggling to keep up with the surge in patients. An increasing number of respiratory illnesses caused by Influenza, RSV, and COVID-19 have put hospitals, pharmacies, and staff under a lot of pressure. Children’s hospitals are also facing difficulties in keeping up with the demand. The medicine shortage, however, has somewhat been addressed as new stock has started to arrive at pharmacies.

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