Any health care worker in Quebec was initially to be vaccinated no later than Friday, under penalty of being suspended without pay.
The minister had no choice but to announce any easing because he could see he was heading straight into the wall, can we read in a Facebook post (New window) Isabelle Groulx, respiratory therapist and vice-president of the FIQQuebec Interprofessional Health Federation, on the Federation page.
The minister simply had no choice, given the fragile state in which the network finds itself, adds Claire Montour, president of the FSQ-CSQQuebec Federation of Health, by press release (New window) .
We now encourage all of our members to take advantage of this extra time to complete their vaccination.
There is already a shortage of manpower in the health system, so if there are still people who will be lacking, it is the colleagues who will suffer., responded a visibly relieved worker at the Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital in Montreal.
We’re going to have way too much work to manage.
It will help us continue to provide excellent patient care, rejoiced an employee of the Hôtel-Dieu hospital in Quebec.
Perhaps we will succeed in making certain colleagues change their minds.
The Parti Québécois (PQ) also said it was satisfied with the minister’s decision.
By doing this, many service disruptions will be avoided., said the head of BECAUSEQuebec Party, Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, by press release (New window) .
Working conditions to improve
The FIQQuebec Interprofessional Health Federation and the FSQ-CSQQuebec Federation of Health also reiterated their calls to improve the working conditions of their members.
The changes in the management culture that we are calling for in all forums must be embodied in concrete actions, as
stop systematic recourse [aux heures supplémentaires obligatoires], ask for it FIQQuebec Interprofessional Health Federation.
Hope [que le ministre] will act now to improve the unacceptable working conditions at the origin of this situation, adds Ms. Montour.
This is an essential condition if the shortage of personnel in the network is to be resolved in the long term.
It’s quite sad, that it comes to there, deplored Roxane Borgès Da Silva, professor at the School of public health of the University of Montreal, in interview with ICI RDI.
Already, with the great absenteeism that we have at work in health establishments, by adding this forced absenteeism of unvaccinated people, we risk having difficult situations.
Convincing the refractories could be difficult
It remains to be seen whether this delay will be sufficient for the thousands of network employees who have not yet been adequately vaccinated to take action.
It can help, but I think those who didn’t want to be vaccinated, they won’t want more afterwards. I know there are some who did it reluctantly, though, noted a worker at the Hôtel-Dieu de Québec, skeptical.
Uncertainty remains as to the impact of this delay on the vaccination of healthcare workers who are not yet adequately protected against COVID-19 (archived).
Photo: The Canadian Press / Ryan Remiorz
The announcement of an ultimatum seems to have convinced some, since the number of workers not adequately vaccinated in the health network in Quebec rose from 43,461 at the end of August to 22,446 as of Monday.
We risk winning little, in terms of vaccine coverage for workers who are refractory, insofar as, when we have values or ideologies that go against science, it is very difficult to change them., according to Professor Borgès Da Silva.
The one-month delay will especially allow establishments to better reorganize themselves, according to her, whereas they had only had six weeks previously, since the announcement of compulsory vaccination in the network in August.
With information from Alexie André-Bélisle and Colin Côté-Paulette