Australia is set to announce new “no jab, no pay” rules for all health workers in a move that is set to inflame tensions with anti-vaxxers.
The Prime Minister will discuss the issue at Friday’s national cabinet amid calls for a national approach to the controversial ban on unvaccinated workers.
News.com.au understands the new national definition will include public hospitals, ambulance services, private hospitals, GPs, private nurse offices and consulting offices.
Even pharmacies and private pathology centres will be covered by the new requirements that all health workers are vaccinated.
The rules will also apply to student nurses and doctors on work experience placements and Defence Department health services.
While some states have already announced vaccine mandates, Victoria, South Australia and the NT are yet to finalize the mandatory vaccination guidelines in their own states for health care workers.
NSW’s own deadline for all health workers to be vaccinated with a first dose expired on Thursday and some workers could be stood down from Friday.
Around 94 per cent of NSW health workers have been vaccinated, but over 5,000 workers remain unvaccinated.
“It’s pretty simple,” NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said.
“If you don’t care enough to get vaccinated and look after your colleagues, if you don’t care enough about your patient, you probably shouldn’t be in the health system.”
In Queensland, Health Minister Yvette D’Ath has warned workers they must get vaccinated as soon as possible.
“We require our health workers to get vaccinated for a range of immunisations,’’ she said. “This is about keeping them safe, their work colleagues’ safety…and their own family members,” said.
Nearly one in 10 of Queensland’s 115,000 health workers remain unvaccinated.
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French President Emmanuel Macron Says Someone Who Refuses COVID Vaccine Is ‘Not a Citizen’
French president Macron’s desire to ‘piss off’ unvaccinated individuals triggers outrage
Macron spoke candidly during an interview with French newspaper Le Parisien, during which he said that he wanted to make life difficult for individuals who have not received a COVID-19 vaccine. The French “sanitary pass” has prompted a number of protests and stiff opposition while the country nears 75% full vaccination.
“I really want to piss them off, and we’ll carry on doing this – to the end,” Macron said three months ahead of a presidential election. “I won’t send [unvaccinated people] to prison, so we need to tell them, from 15 January, you will no longer be able to go to the restaurant. You will no longer be able to go for a coffee, you will no longer be able to go to the theatre. You will no longer be able to go to the cinema.”
The French Parliament heard Macron’s comments during a debate over his proposed bill to tighten restrictions for unvaccinated individuals, leading to a swift and strong uproar in response.
His opponents have labeled the comments “unworthy” of a president.
“Even if one doesn’t share their choice, they have broken none of our country’s laws,” Marine Le Pen, Macron’s chief opponent in the upcoming election, told reporters late Tuesday. “He is continuing his policy of division, of pitting the French against one another.”
She later tweeted “A president shouldn’t say that…Emmanuel Macron is unworthy of his office.”
Leftist politician Jean-Luc Melanchon described the remarks as an “astonishing confession,” according to the BBC.
But Macron’s allies have defended the comments, with Stéphane Séjourné, a member of the European Parliament, arguing on Twitter that unvaccinated individuals have “bothered” the French by “forcing the rest of the population to endure restrictions.”
Debate over Macron’s bill continue into Wednesday as opponents still seek to delay its passage. Some of his supporters claimed to have received death threats because they are backing the legislation, The New York Times reported.
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