Currently it is not mandatory for health care workers to get vaccinated against COVID.
The peak body representing Catholic not-for-profit hospitals, Catholic Health Australia (CHA), says its members are already redeploying unvaccinated staff to clinical areas where there is a lower risk of contact with COVID patients and vaccinating staff as and when Commonwealth supplies become available.
But it says a uniform rule to get the COVID vaccine should be in place for hospital staff – regardless of whether they work in ED, ICU or any other clinical or support position.
CHA’s Health Policy Director James Kemp said that while health care staff are required to get vaccinated against the flu every year, there’s no such directive for COVID.
“The high transmissibility of the Delta variant of COVID is putting workers and the people they care for at greater risk as well as putting extra strain on staff. We need a single, uniform rule across Australia for everyone working in a hospital environment,” he said.
CHA’s call comes as France joins a growing list of countries mandating vaccinations for its health care workforce.
The Federal Government already requires all residential aged care staff to be vaccinated by mid-September and has put in place a package of measures such as paid leave for casual staff or a $80 flat fee for staff who must go off site. CHA said National Cabinet should put in place a similar scheme for all hospital staff across Australia, public and private.
“Every worker should have a date in their diary to get vaccinated. Every dose that comes into the country should have a hospital workers’ name next to it,” Mr Kemp said.Jump to next article