COVID-19: BC cancels some surgeries due to shortages caused by unvaccinated workers: minister

Dr. Bonnie Henry says that healthcare workers who don’t recognize the importance of vaccines in fighting the pandemic may not be in the right profession.

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VICTORIA – BC hospitals are postponing some surgeries due to staff shortages created by unvaccinated healthcare workers who have been on leave without pay, says Health Minister Adrian Dix.

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There are currently 3,325 healthcare workers across the province who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 in violation of the government’s proof of vaccination policy for healthcare workers, which went into effect last month, Dix said Monday. .

Staff shortages will lead to reductions in operational services at Fraser’s Interior hospitals and health authorities, while additional demand for medical care has forced surgeries to be postponed in many other parts of the province, the minister said in a press conference.

“Across British Columbia, the vast majority of our operating rooms continue to function, but due to a variety of challenges, there have been some reductions,” he said. “Kelowna General Hospital has reduced two operating rooms this week to compensate staff who did not meet immunization requirements and are on leave without pay.”

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Dix mentioned hospitals in the province facing staff pressure, including those in Kamloops, Abbotsford, North Vancouver, Richmond and New Westminster.

He said that of the 127,448 health workers in the province, 122,059 are fully vaccinated, while 2,064 have received a dose of vaccine.

Of the 3,225 health workers who have not been vaccinated, five percent are in Salud Interior and four percent in Salud del Norte, Dix said.

Provincial Health Official Dr. Bonnie Henry said officials have been speaking with health workers in one-on-one meetings about their concerns about vaccination, but some remain strongly opposed to vaccines.

“Some people are quite dogmatic against vaccines, which is unfortunate,” he said.

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Henry said vaccines are considered a great lifesaver in pandemics.

“If people are in our health care system and they don’t recognize the importance of vaccination, then this is probably not the right profession for them, to be blunt,” he said.

Henry also announced that people in British Columbia who received two doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine will soon be notified that they are eligible to receive a booster shot within six months of their second vaccination.

The British Columbia government also unveiled its final vaccine testing policy on Monday for public service employees that require government workers to provide vaccine testing status by November 22 or face unpaid leave. salary for three months and possible future termination.

The policy applies to any employee working in the public service, whether working from home or remotely.

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