After weeks of warning health care workers that they would be suspended without pay if they were not vaccinated against COVID-19 by this Friday, Quebec’s Health Minister Christian Dubey announced a month’s relief on Wednesday. Gave.
Dubey said 14,000 health care workers in the public and private systems are still not fully vaccinated, and sticking to the deadline because of the risk of labor shortages in an already strained system would be “irresponsible”. .
“The risk is very high,” he told reporters in Montreal, adding that the government “wants to give the last chance without vaccination.”
Quebec first announced in August that health care workers with or without immunizations would face suspension without pay until October 15. The new deadline is November 15, Dubey said.
And while the government has decided to grant leave to unrelated workers, they will not be completely spared from the new measures.
Dubey said that from Monday, all unaffiliated health care workers in the public sector will be tested for COVID-19 at least thrice a week, and the government is not ruling out the need for regular testing in the private sector. Unemployed workers, he said, would also lose their “COVID-19 premium”, which adds up to eight per cent to workers’ wages.
Health workers are also facing pressure from their professional orders to get vaccinated. On Tuesday, orders regulating licensed practical nurses and respiratory therapists said members who were not fully vaccinated by Friday would not be able to work. The decision followed similar steps as those regulating nurses and doctors, both of whom have said they would suspend the licenses of non-vaccinated members from October 15.
Dubey suggested on Wednesday that those deadlines would also be extended so that workers could be given several more weeks to get vaccinated before their licenses were suspended.
Meanwhile, health officials on Wednesday reported 512 new cases of COVID-19 and attributed seven more deaths to the novel coronavirus. The number of hospitalizations increased by seven to 298. There were 75 people in intensive care, an increase of three patients compared to the day before.
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