By: Jovillene Datu
The Canadian province of Quebec implemented a rule this past week, stating that all healthcare workers must be fully vaccinated, or they will face suspension without pay. Quebec’s health minister, Christian Dube, stated that the main reason for this ruling is because of the amount of work and pressure that the health industry is facing. Therefore, “[we] cannot accept that workers put vulnerable people at risk.” Quebec also now requires all hospital guests to present their vaccine passports in order to enter any area.
As of September 3rd, Quebec has reported over 500 new cases of COVID-19, and the vast majority of these new cases are coming from unvaccinated patients. Dube made a point saying, “for non-vaccinated people, you’re taking the place of somebody that should be in your place.” Now, Dube has made it clear that they are not panicking, and that they do have enough beds. However, there is a slight overflow, so they are doing everything they can to manage the population of those hospitalized, keeping it as low as possible.
Now, this decision by the health board hasn’t gone unnoticed. Although the board heavily supports vaccination, they believe that a mandate that forces all health care workers to be vaccinated is risky, as the Canadian province is already struggling with a labor shortage. The board also came forward with an altered plan which only mandates workers that deal with patients for more than 15 minutes to receive the vaccine. However, the health board went forward with their original plan.
The province of Quebec is already on a good track though, over 80% of their total eligible population has received both doses.