North Bay hospital fires about 10 employees for not complying with COVID-19 vaccination policy
The North Bay Regional Health Centre has terminated less than 10 employees for failing to comply with the hospital’s COVID-19 vaccination policy.
In the past, the hospital has said it is committed to achieving a 100 per cent compliance from healthcare workers and other staff members.
“I’m very distressed and I feel bad for the employees that we had to terminate them for the choice that they made,” said hospital CEO Paul Heinrich.
The hospital said staff are required to comply with one of three requirements in relation to the COVID-19 vaccination:
1. Be vaccinated for COVID-19 and provide proof of vaccination.
2. Where all Health Canada approved COVID-19 vaccines are medically contraindicated, staff must provide written proof of the medical contraindication from their regular qualified medical practitioner.
3. Where a staff elects not to be vaccinated, or they are unsure of whether they want to be vaccinated, they are required to complete a COVID-19 education program.
Staff that are in category 2 or 3 are required to obtain a COVID-19 antigen test every seven days.
“Just to be clear, 40 per cent of hospitals in the province have a stricter policy than us and it’s basically that you’re either vaccinated or don’t work at the hospital,” said Heinrich.
Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli weighed in on the news during a Friday morning media conference.
“We continue to follow the advice of the chief medical officer of health and we say to people we want to get out of this: get vaccinated,” Fedeli said.
Heinrich said the hospital’s vaccination policy could change at any time, but would not say if the terminated employees will ever be welcomed back. He hopes the move will convince the other 30 non-compliant employees to comply.
“When you make bad choices, you have to live with the consequences,” said Heinrich.
Heinrich said the fired employees sent letters to the hospital that spoke about suing the hospital over their termination. But he said there is no "credible action" that can be taken because the hospital was following mandates from Public Health Ontario.