August 26, 2021
AdvantAge Ontario released the following statement on mandatory vaccines.
Ontario’s not-for-profit long-term care (LTC) homes are urgently calling on the Ontario government to demonstrate leadership by implementing a mandatory vaccination policy for all healthcare workers in the province.
“We are very concerned with the province’s reluctance to step up and introduce a policy mandating vaccines in our sector,” said Lisa Levin, CEO of AdvantAge Ontario, which represents more than 400 providers of not-for-profit seniors’ care, including municipally-owned and charitable LTC homes. “We need government to create a level playing field by creating a single policy that applies evenly across the entire healthcare sector.”
AdvantAge Ontario believes that a patchwork framework like the one currently emerging in Ontario will create staffing instability, and could even lead to vaccinated staff leaving LTC to work in other parts of the healthcare sector that have mandatory policies.
Homes that do not have mandatory vaccination policies could face legal challenges if outbreaks were to occur, which is highly likely due to the unpredictable Delta variant.
“Our members are not part of large chains,” said Levin. “They don’t have the deep pockets to withstand legal challenges.”
Some large long-term care chains have individually said they will mandate vaccinations among staff.
“More people will die unless government acts,” said Levin, whose organization represents approximately 30,000 LTC beds. “We must put our residents first. We’re talking about the most vulnerable people in the province, and everyone has the right to safety, no matter where they live. Only government can ensure that can happen.”
AdvantAge Ontario has been the trusted voice for senior care for over 100 years and is the only provincial association representing the full spectrum of the senior care continuum. Our more than 400 members are located across the province and include not-for-profit, charitable, and municipal long-term care homes, seniors’ housing, assisted living in supportive housing and community service agencies.
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