Quebec suspending unvaccinated health care-workers who refuse COVID-19 testing

Quebec’s health-care services have began suspending unvaccinated staff who refuse to adjust to a well being order that they be examined for COVID-19 not less than 3 times per week, the federal government confirmed Friday.

A Well being Division spokesperson mentioned unvaccinated health-care staff had been suspended or that suspension procedures had been underway in “the vast majority of institutions in Quebec.”

Well being Minister Christian Dubé introduced earlier this week that the federal government was backing down on its menace to impose a vaccine mandate for well being staff, however he mentioned unvaccinated staff must undergo common testing or face suspension with out pay.

About 8,000 energetic staff had not been vaccinated, together with about 5,000 who labored immediately with sufferers, he mentioned.

Learn extra:
Quebec provides 571 new COVID-19 infections, 1 new loss of life

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The Well being Division on Friday wouldn’t affirm what number of staff in whole had been suspended, however information supplied to The Canadian Press by a number of the regional well being boards steered it was not less than a number of dozen.

The well being community representing the Quebec Metropolis space mentioned it had suspended six staff who refused to be examined even after “a number of communications” reminding them to take action.

“Since reassignment was not doable for these staff, they had been faraway from the schedule and are receiving no compensation for an indefinite interval, and this till they settle for to be examined or are adequately vaccinated,” the CIUSSS de la Capitale-Nationale wrote in an e-mail Friday.

The community representing south-central Montreal mentioned it had suspended 4 staff who refused to be examined, out of a complete of 466 unvaccinated staff.

Learn extra:
COVID-19: Quebec drops vaccination mandate for health-care staff

Laval and Gaspésie reported three suspensions every; the Côte-Nord, Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean and Bas-St-Laurent areas reported 4 every; and the Outaouais and Chaudière-Appalaches areas every reported about 5.

Numbers in Abitibi-Temiscamingue had been larger, with 10 suspensions within the regional well being community and eight from impartial businesses. The CISSS des Îles-de-la-Madeleine, within the east of the province, reported no suspensions.

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The federal government had initially set an Oct. 15 deadline for well being staff to be vaccinated, however pushed the date again by a month within the hopes of convincing extra staff to get the shot.

On Wednesday, Dubé backed off the mandate altogether, admitting that suspending the three per cent of staff who remained unvaccinated would drive the system to chop or reorganize providers. New hires, nevertheless, should be absolutely vaccinated, he mentioned.

“As staff within the well being community, you’ve an ethical responsibility to guard the purchasers that you simply deal with and to guard your fellow residents,” Dubé instructed a information convention, addressing unvaccinated staff. “You additionally want to indicate solidarity along with your colleagues who could must undergo a good larger scarcity of employees if you end up suspended.”

The federal government has been making an attempt to fill employees shortages within the system by providing bonuses, recruiting nurses, and making an attempt to persuade part-timers to modify to full-time work.

On Thursday, the Well being Division reported that it had employed a complete of 864 new individuals since late September, together with 117 prior to now week, and had satisfied a complete of two,713 part-timers to go full time. These numbers had been up by 737 from one week prior.

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