NY mulls PH recruits to replace health workers who refuse vaccine
New York state is considering the recruitment of medical workers from the Philippines and other countries and U.S. states to replace Covid vaccine refusers at hospitals and nursing homes.
Gov. Kathy Hochul said she might start recruitment from abroad or other states if many health care workers leave or are fired for refusing to abide by Covid vaccine mandates.
Hochul said her administration is talking to federal officials about relaxing visa requirements to make it easier for medical workers from the Philippines and other countries to work in the state.
New York also may change its licensing requirements to make it easier for health care workers from other US states to work in the state.
Under the mandate, health care workers must get at least one dose of the vaccine or the state won’t allow them to work and hospitals and nursing homes can fire them, according to a report in Syracuse.com.
New York hospitals on Sept. 27 began firing or suspending health care workers for defying a state order to get the COVID-19 vaccine, and resulting staff shortages prompted some hospitals to postpone elective surgeries or curtail services.
The hospital and nursing home industries fear the loss of unvaccinated workers could hurt their facilities. Many hosptals and nursing homes are already short staffed.
Some 17% of nursing home and 16% of hospital workers in New York state are still unvaccinated.
Hochul said New York would not be able to implement the recruitment strategies immediately and she hoped it would not have to.