Covid-19 A Burden On Health Workers
Written by Jeremy Zafran on 12 October 2021
With the deadline looming in Quebec for front line health care workers to be vaccinated or be suspended without pay the pandemic has taken its toll on everyone in health care, including those at the Kateri Memorial Hospital Center in Kahnawake.
“In speaking with colleagues at the hospital and other nurses and physicians everywhere, I have a lot of nurse friends, doctor friends, health care professional friends, there’s a lot of people who have had to take time off,” said Juanita Belanger, the Infections Prevention Control Nurse at the KMHC. “I can’t give you numbers but I can tell you it’s a heck of a lot more than it ever has been in the past. It’s a very real, heavy reality that our professions are facing right now.”
This as the deadline for front line health care workers to be vaccinated in the province is this Friday. 17,000 remain unvaccinated and are facing suspension without pay. For nurses it may even mean losing their license to practice. There are approximately 4300 nurses who fall into that category, and the president of the Quebec Order of Nurses says the order will suspend the licenses of nurses who aren’t adequately vaccinated against COVID-19.
In Kahnawake, employees who work in health care, social services, are first responders or who work in education, must provide proof to their employer of two doses of the COVID-19 vaccination. If not, as of the latest directives updated on August 18, 2021, they must undergo three COVID-19 PCR screens per week.
The KMHC’s Belanger will be on Tetewathara, the Partyline Talkshow, to further discuss the impending deadline, this coming Friday.