The head of the Goodall-Witcher hospital in rural Texas expressed concerns that the facility may have to stop delivering babies due to a recent vaccine mandate handed down by the Biden administration stipulating that healthcare workers at Medicare- and Medicaid-funded hospitals get the vaccine.
Adam Willmann, the CEO, said that some experienced nurses are not vaccinated and don’t plan on getting the shot. Some of the nurses, he suggested, work in the hospital’s maternity ward.
“They are also near retirement age and a few of them have already voiced that, ‘I will just retire,’” Willmann told NPR. “And then a couple other nurses said, ‘Well, I’ll just go work for my husband’s construction company.’”
Willmann said he has been pushing hard to get all of his 250 employees to take one of the vaccines, noting that so far, vaccination rates are at around 70 percent.
Despite mandates, “We’re kind of at that point where everybody that’s willing to get it, got it,” he said.
Earlier this month, President Joe Biden announced sweeping mandates for hospitals, federal workers and contractors, and employees at private businesses with 100 or more employees. But the administration still has not finalized details of any of the mandates, coming as some GOP-led states have threatened lawsuits.
Tom Mee, the CEO of a hospital North Country Healthcare in New Hampshire, said that it’s likely that other rural hospitals will have issues with staffing over the mandate.
“It’s a scene that you’re going to see repeated throughout the United States,” said Mee. “I’ve been in health care for 34 years, and I’ve never seen anything like this before.”
But Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, told the broadcaster that the White House “did not undertake this decision lightly,” referring to the vaccine mandate. The Epoch Times has reached out to the agency for comment.
A hospital in upstate New York faces a similar crisis with its maternity ward. A number of nurses at the Lewis County General Hospital in Lowville resigned instead of taking the shot, meaning that babies cannot be delivered temporarily at the facility, said Lewis County Health System Chief Executive Officer Gerald Cayer about two weeks ago.
“If we can pause the service and now focus on recruiting nurses who are vaccinated, we will be able to reengage in delivering babies here in Lewis County,” Cayer said at a news conference on Sept. 10.
More dramatically, the chief executive of Brownfield Regional Medical Center, also in rural Texas, warned that the whole healthcare facility will likely shut down.
Because of the vaccine mandate, Brownfield Regional Medical Center CEO Jerry Jasper told KCBD that “20 percent of my, probably 20 to 25 percent of my staff will have to go away if that’s the case.” That would then cause the facility to shut down, he said, adding the hospital cannot lose Medicaid or Medicare funding.
From The Epoch Times