A total of 99 percent of Tasmania’s health workers have complied with a COVID vaccination mandate, Health Minister Jeremy Rockliff has announced.
- Health workers were again warned last week that they would be fired after the October 30 deadline
- Compliance has risen from 87 percent of workers last week to 99 percent
- 170 workers have been set aside and others will receive letters telling them to bring forward their vaccination date
A public health directive meant that all health workers in Tasmania should have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine or have proof of a reservation by 1 p.m. 12:01 on October 31, unless they had a medical exemption.
The figure of 99 percent is a marked increase from 87 percent last week when State Health Secretary Kathrine Morgan-Wicks warned workers they would be fired.
A total of 170 healthcare professionals have failed to provide the necessary documentation, of which 88 are permanent employees.
State Health Secretary Kathrine Morgan-Wicks said 38 full-time nurses had been set aside for non-compliance with the directive.
She said no GPs had been set aside, but a temporary doctor is included in the figures.
Seven Allied health workers out of the 1,380 state employees have not provided evidence of vaccination, and four paramedics out of the state’s total workforce of 592.
“While it is disappointing that some staff members have chosen either not to be vaccinated or to withhold evidence of vaccination status from the ward, Tasmanians can be sure that the health professionals moving forward have done everything they can to protect themselves. even, “she said.
‘Business as usual’ for state health services
Tasmania has a health staff of about 16,000 employees who have known about the mandate to get a COVID jab since early September.
Ms Morgan-Wicks said she expected there would be no disruption to health care as a result of 170 workers being laid off.
“I expect very little change in our business as usual and our service delivery from today. And we have our shift schedules confirmed across … from today to the early days of next week,” she said.
Ms Morgan-Wicks said some health professionals had provided evidence of a COVID vaccine order that was “weeks and months away”.
“It is not acceptable and we will communicate with the staff to request a vaccination date within the next 14 days, otherwise they will join the list of staff who will receive letters to stand aside today,” she said.
“It gives me no pleasure to talk about the potential dismissal of our staff, but I think we just do not owe our patient cohorts, but in fact the whole Tasmanian community to ensure that we are a leader in this and that we work to protect our patients, each other and the community we serve. “
About 500 health workers joined the lawsuit against Mandate
The dismissal of the 170 health workers comes after the Tasmanian Supreme Court rejected an injunction filed on behalf of 500 health workers against the vaccination mandate.
Currently, 74.5 percent of Tasmanians aged 16 and over are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, while 89 percent have received a first dose.
Sir. Rockliff said he expected the state to reach a vaccination rate of 90 percent first dose “probably today or tomorrow,” and will reach 90 percent fully vaccinated by December.
Earlier this month, Prime Minister Peter Gutwein announced that Tasmania would reopen its borders for coronavirus hotspots on December 15.
Sir. Rockliff said he expected the state would reach 90 percent fully vaccinated on Dec. 1 for those ages 16 and older, and Dec. 4 for the 12-15-year-old age group.
Sir. Rockliff said 57.7 percent of people ages 12 to 15 had received a first dose so far.
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