With the city administration clearly not thinking through the healthcare vaccine mandate, several nursing homes are left helpless as they plead for the state to help them out with staff shortages.
A hotline that was specifically set up for healthcare facilities facing problems with the latest vaccine mandate went blank with a message saying “we do not have any staff to offer you or any other nursing homes.”
“Despite what the media says, currently, we do not have any staff to offer you or any other nursing homes. I will log you in our system,” a state Department of Health staffer at the agency’s “Surge and Flex Operations Center” hotline told one nursing home when they asked about getting reinforcements on Oct. 4 — just one week after the vaccine mandate’s effective date.
“Feel free to call with updates, but no need to call daily hoping this will be your lucky day,” the operator told the disappointed nursing home, as reported by the NY Post. Another nursing home industry source reached out on Sept. 29 to the hotline who was told “they do not have any staff.”
A DOH rep told The Post that since last Monday, the agency has received “nearly 50 calls” related to staffing requests, and a large number of these requests have gone unfulfilled.
When asked about these shortages in a press conference, Hochul argued that healthcare facilities should call the DOH’s “24/7 operations center” to request staff and may even have access to student nurses. In the worst-case scenario, the National Guard could be deployed, but the state has not done so yet.