Premier looks for input on implementing vaccine mandates for staff at hospitals

In July, a poll found the most Canadians wouldn't mind if it was mandatory

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has written to hospital CEOs, local medical officers of health and other health-care organizations asking for input on implementing vaccine mandates for staff at hospitals.

Many hospitals across the province have already enacted their own mandates, going beyond the current provincial policy of having hospital staff vaccinated or subject to frequent testing.

Several hospitals have fired some staff who didn't get vaccinated by their deadline or have placed them on unpaid leave, though they say the numbers are such that it isn't affecting operations or patient care.

Ford's letter says some have suggested that a provincewide mandate is necessary, but he says it's important to balance the risks posed by COVID-19 with any strain on staffing resources.

He is asking the health-care leaders to give him their input on questions about the potential impacts of a vaccine mandate, anything more the government could be doing to increase vaccine uptake among health-care workers, and whether unvaccinated staff could be reassigned to non-front-line roles.

Ford is also asking the hospital CEOs specifically what impact a mandatory policy would have on diagnostic procedures or elective surgeries.