On September 7th, 2021, Premier Francois Legault announced alongside his team that vaccination would be mandatory for all healthcare workers beginning October 15th.
The date was later extended to November 15th when it became evident that not nearly enough healthcare and social workers had made the necessary steps towards getting vaccinated.
Yesterday, the Quebec government announced that it is repealing its decision to make vaccination mandatory for healthcare workers, as it fears it will not be able to sustain its healthcare sector if the current number of unvaccinated workers were removed from the field.
According to the statement issued by the Quebec government, roughly 14,000 workers are unvaccinated. Of those, 8,000 are considered to work directly in the field, and of those, over 5000 work directly in the line of contact with patients and people who are compromised.
“Despite the efforts of all the establishments in the network to compensate for the shortage of personnel, service disruptions and anticipated reductions in activities are numerous and would affect several key sectors, in particular emergencies.” (SOURCE)
Employees in the healthcare sector who choose not to get vaccinated must be tested for COVID-19 3 times a week. Further, they will not be eligible to receive any bonuses, compensation, or financial aid that has been attributed to those in the healthcare field.
“My priority remains that the population can receive the care and services they need. Compulsory vaccination would inevitably weaken the network, already under pressure, too significantly. As a government, we have a responsibility to manage the risk between preventing COVID-19 and maintaining accessibility to the health care system. With our teams, we will continue to ensure that everything is in place to ensure the safety of network users, as well as its staff. "
- Christian Dubé, Minister of Health and Social Services