Around the province of BC there are many unvaccinated health workers who have been placed on unpaid leave now for missing the deadline of the vaccination mandate. It is estimated that some 4,000 unvaccinated healthcare workers in the province missed the deadline for the mandatory vaccination.
The mandate for getting the vaccination related to those who work in health settings, including volunteers and students, physicians, residents, contractors, and other health professionals. Not only that but it also impacted those working from home or community settings too.
There are 2,000 more health workers who have been vaccinated but with only one dose. Health authorities will now need to take steps to try and address this problem, for a health care system that is already struggling with inefficiencies around the province and country.
The system cannot afford to lose those thousands of workers and it is a solemn day according to the health minister, to face this reality of so many health workers in BC remaining unvaccinated knowing that this could be a consequence that they face.
While many in the community celebrate the departure of those workers, accusing them of being ‘against science’ or not wanting to get over this pandemic, others have tried to remind us that throughout the pandemic these individuals risked their lives and were regarded as heroes; they risked their livelihoods and careers over making this choice for themselves.
More Pressure on the Health Care System
If those thousands of health workers are lost then this is going to create a huge need in the health care system overall, it will place even more pressure on that system and on hospitals around the province. Those who did not get the first dose by the deadline cannot work because of the mandate.
Thousands of health care workers will be placed on unpaid leave because they had refused to get vaccinated. For hospitals and other care centers that are already struggling with staffing issues and service demands, this is only going to worsen those problems for communities around the province.
For those individuals who lost their jobs this week there has been a lot of anger and frustration, and now there are more problems for the province to deal with as they are forced to navigate the loss of those who hadn’t yet been vaccinated, and who as a result were placed on unpaid leave.
After the announcement of those vaccination mandates we have seen various protests take place around the province and those protests have included patients, health care workers, and others.
The province was already short on health care workers and for those who remain the pressure is going to increase because of the void that has been left by those who recently were placed on unpaid leave. If there isn’t something done to address the pressures that remain then we could lose more health care workers in the future as a result. That exodus of workers didn’t come as a total surprise though, it was suggested that there might be as much as 10 per cent or more who might not meet the vaccination mandate in the province to continue working.
For this overworked industry though things are going to get a lot harder now that thousands of more workers will be leaving health centers and hospitals around the province. How much more can BC health workers and its system take? Prior to this dismissal of thousands of workers there had already been service-related staffing issues and it could mean that more similar problems are to come because of it.