HSE defends new policy of redeploying unvaccinated healthcare workers

ireland
Hse Defends New Policy Of Redeploying Unvaccinated Healthcare Workers Hse Defends New Policy Of Redeploying Unvaccinated Healthcare Workers
“We’re not in the business of blaming, but we have to take measures to make healthcare safe.”
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The HSE’s National Lead for Health Care Associated Infection and Antimicrobial Resistance, Professor Martin Cormican, has defended the new policy of redeploying unvaccinated healthcare workers.

“We’re not in the business of blaming, but we have to take measures to make healthcare safe,” he told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland.

Prof Cormican explained that when Covid outbreaks occur in healthcare settings they were investigated for patterns, so they could learn to avoid a similar scenario in the future. In a number of outbreaks a connection was found to unvaccinated healthcare workers.

“If you have a healthcare worker who hasn't been vaccinated, we look at the job they are doing, we consider what is the risk to them of continuing in that role unvaccinated, and we look at the risk they might pose to others continuing in that role.

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“If the assessment is that that risk is too high, they may need to be redeployed on a temporary basis to a role that is safer for them and safer for everyone else,” he said.

Risk management

“It's not about trying to blame or punish people, but we do have to manage the risk, we are trying to do that in a way that causes as little difficulty for people as possible.”

Prof Cormican said he did not know the exact numbers of healthcare workers — in hospitals or care homes — who were unvaccinated.

The “vast majority” of health care workers had been “lining up” to get vaccinated.

Some had reservations about getting vaccinated and those reservations would have to be addressed, he said. “We want to see if we can work with that.”

Process

There was a process in place to establish who was not vaccinated and then to assess the role in which they worked. “It’s about recognising a problem and dealing with it.”

Prof Cormican said he did not anticipate Ireland introducing mandatory vaccination for some sectors as had happened in other countries. “Cooperation has worked really well for us in Ireland. We’ve done well working with people and that’s the way to go.”

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