As Hospitals Face Staffing Shortages Over Vaccine Mandate, Some Stop Delivering Babies

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As strict vaccine requirements for healthcare workers loom, some hospitals have opted to stop delivering babies or are considering taking this drastic move over a shortage of adequate staff to tend to laboring mothers.

Texas’ Goodall-Witcher Hospital is the latest to consider such a drastic change as many members of the staff have no intention of complying with the federal government’s mandate for healthcare workers.

“They are also near retirement age and a few of them have already voiced that, ‘I will just retire,’ ” CEO Adam Willmann recently told NPR News. “And then a couple other nurses said, ‘Well, I’ll just go work for my husband’s construction company.’ ”

While 70% of his staff is vaccinated, Willmann doesn’t believe that that number will get much higher in light of the mandate.

“We’re kind of at that point where everybody that’s willing to get it, got it,” he explained.

He’s also conflicted over whether he needs to adhere to the federal mandate or Texas Governor Greg Abbot’s August ban on vaccine mandates.

“I’ve got President Biden telling me he’s going to mandate it, but I have Gov. Abbott who says I cannot mandate it,” he explained. “Do I or don’t I? So I’m just kind of waiting for the dust to settle from yesterday to really sit down with my administrative team and see where we go from here.”

Before President Joe Biden issued his vaccine mandate earlier this month, a chain of private Texas hospitals lost over 150 employees over their vaccine requirement and is now facing lawsuits from former staffers who argue that it was illegal to coerce them to take a drug that was still under emergency use authorization.

The Texas Hospital Association, which CBN notes represents the nearly 650 hospitals in the Lone Star State, says it continues to assess the federal mandate and the impact it could have on its member institutions.

“We are definitely all for sending the message that people should get vaccinated, and we support the efforts that increase the number of vaccinated Texans,” the organization’s spokesperson, Carrie Williams, said. “We are taking a close look at this and all its impacts going forward.”

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