Yvette

Health Minister Yvette D'Ath said Queensland Health will manage the staff reduction.(ABC News)
Health Minister Yvette D'Ath announced 4,000 unvaccinated health care staff would be suspended this week with full pay leading to some "disruptions" for Queensland Health.

The 4,000 workers who have refused to be vaccinated against COVID-19 amount to around three per cent of the total health work force in Queensland.


Comment: It doesn't seem like a lot, but is Queensland is already suffering from a deficit of workers? This is the case in the UK where the system becomes 'overwhelmed' even during a mild flu season: "Frightening" shortfall of 50,000 doctors for UK's NHS this winter, healthcare staff 'quit over the summer' - BMA


Speaking on Monday Ms D'Ath said there were 7,000 people who were yet to be fully vaccinated but 3,000 were on long service or maternity leave.

The Health Minister claimed she was confident the work force of 110,000 could cope with the loss saying "we expected this."

Annastacia Palaszczuk has confirmed Queensland's borders will open to interstate hotspots in time for Christmas. The Premier announced two key dates under a roadmap to welcome fully-vaccinated travellers back to the Sunshine State.


Comment: And what about the unvaccinated? Also, will what they consider 'fully-vaccinated' change? Because in some countries it's one round of the vaccines, in others it's 3 boosters - and counting.


"There will be some disruptions, but we are managing those disruptions... we have been planning for this," she said.

"We have a number of staff who will now go through a show-cause process and we will put in place measures to manage any workforce shortages that might occur."


Comment: 'Might occur'? Shortages are guaranteed to occur, the question is how severe they will be. Bear in mind that one can't just find appropriate healthcare staff that easily and it's highly likely they'll be cutting corners in one way or another, and that means that patient care will suffer; the question is how much harm will be caused by suspending staff over a useless, if risky and experimental, injection.


Under Queensland's current guidelines anyone working in the state's healthcare system must have received their first dose by September 30 and a second dose by late October.

The 4,000 who do not fill this criteria will be asked to explain why they have not received the vaccine and then be suspended with immediate effect.

"There are 7,000 health workers who have not come forward saying they are vaccinated, but 3,000 of those are on [long service or maternity] leave," Ms D'Ath said.

"There are 4,000 who have not been vaccinated and will be given their show cause and will be suspended with full pay.

"I have every confidence that these numbers [of vaccinated health care workers] will continue to grow each day, just as we saw when we mandated vaccinations with our aged care workers."


Comment: The success of the coercive measures has given the authorities a rather insidious confidence, perhaps they'll be emboldened to hand this threat over the heads of workers whatever will they mandate next knowing that all they need to do is threaten workers with the sack.


Ms D'Ath said more than 92 per cent of state health workers have had one dose and all aged care workers had received one dose and 96.3 per cent were fully vaccinated.


Comment: But the requirement is for two doses, not one, which means that we don't know how many are considered 'fully vaccinated'.


She said full immunisation was important ahead of an anticipated surge in COVID-19 cases when the state opens the border to the vaccinated in December.


Comment: Well, at least they're honest, although this shows that even they admit that the vaccines don't prevent transmission, otherwise why would a 'surge' follow? In the vast majority of countries with high vaccination rates it has become clear that reinfection in the vaccinated is extremely common - more so than those with natural immunity - that it's the vaccinated that are the super-spreaders, and that they're the ones generating the more virulent mutations.


"It's about keeping our staff safe, and our patients and visitors safe and making sure we have the staff, so that when we do start getting those cases that we will get, that we have the staff who are vaccinated," Ms D'Ath said.


Comment: That the Health Minister can say 2 fairly contradictory points - that allowing in the vaccinated will lead to a surge but that vaccinated nurses will help against the surge - is rather revealing.


It is not yet known how long the unvaccinated workers will be suspended on a full salary.


Comment: Until the government knows it can 'safely' sack the few remaining recalcitrant staff?


As of October 31, 77.8 per cent of the Queensland population had received their first dose while 64.1 per cent had received their second dose.