The Quebec government has a straightforward message to all those health care workers who have not yet been fully vaccinated against COVID: no jab, no pay.
Provincial health minister Christian Dube announced during a provincial pandemic briefing on September 7 that it would be mandatory for health care workers, in both the public and private sectors, to get both doses of the vaccine. If they are not fully vaccinated by October 15, they face the prospect of getting suspended from their jobs without pay.
The ministry of health stated that the no jab, no pay measure will apply to doctors, midwives, professionals in private clinics and volunteers, to name a few.
As of now, 87 per cent of Quebecers have at least one dose of the vaccine.
Premier Francois Legault, who was also present at the briefing, stated that there has been an increase in the number of hospitalizations in Quebec as a result of the COVID-19 virus. It went from 55 patients to 171 during the past month. He added that the increase is straining the health care system due to the lack of personnel. He added that those who did not get any vaccine doses at all are 30 times more likely to be hospitalized with the virus.
In an interview with CBC News, Jeff Begley, who is the head of the federation of health and social services union (FSSS-CSN), expressed doubts about the government’s announcement regarding health care workers and the vaccine, and didn’t think it was the right call on the their part.
“We’re not sure that it’s the best means going forward,” he told CBC News. He also stated that the federation is more concerned with the recent elimination of “hot” sections in health clinics, in which protective barriers that created special sections to separate patients who had COVID symptoms from those patients who did not, were removed.
Mr. Dube also announced that the Quebec vaccination passport, which went into effect on September 1, will also apply to people who visit hospitals.