Should fired, unvaccinated provincial employees now return to work? – Poll

BC is sticking to its COVID-19 vaccine mandate for government officials and health professionals, even as the federal government has suspended its bipartisan requirement for federally regulated workers and travelers.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said he continues to support both last year’s provincial health decision that required all health workers in hospitals, long-term care homes and community health centers to vaccinate, as well as the Order in Council that made vaccinations a requirement. working conditions for civil servants.

“I wouldn’t expect a change in mandates anytime soon,” Dix said in an interview on Monday.

BC Liberal leader Kevin Falcon last week called on the BC government to follow Ottawa’s lead in suspending vaccine requirements for provincial and health workers.

“British Columbia is out of step with the rest of the country in this regard,” Falcon said. “We now have a situation that justifies the immediate lifting of the vaccine mandate.”

Falcon said the vaccine need is exacerbating the critical shortage of health workers, which has led to the temporary shutdown of emergency care facilities in rural communities on the island, as well as northern and domestic health authorities.

About 190,000 health workers — including about 50,000 in long-term care — were required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 under a provincial health ordinance. About 99 percent were vaccinated and the rest lost their jobs because they didn’t.

The BC Public Service Agency demanded that its 30,000 employees be fully vaccinated. As of April 20, under the COVID-19 vaccination policy, 402 workers were unvaccinated or refusing to disclose their vaccination status, and about 150 had lost their jobs.

The agency said Monday that its vaccination policy remains in effect, with nearly 99% of workers fully vaccinated. “As the pandemic is not over and its course remains uncertain, the BC public service believes it is prudent to maintain vaccination policies.”

Falcon said about 2,500 health professionals and other officials are being sidelined “at a time when, to use the prime minister’s own words, the health care system is crumbling and faltering.”

Dix said the federal government appears to want to undo both vaccine mandates, “but I disagree with them.”

The health minister said the problem is not mandates, but COVID-19, which continues to profoundly affect the health care system. He said there is an ongoing need to protect residents of long-term care and assisted living facilities, as well as patients in acute care facilities and the larger health care system.

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