Certainly all health workers should be vaccinated, and postponing the ulti matum leaves a bitter taste. So that the threat is not in vain on November 15 as well, the Legault government plans to drive the point home gradually, starting with certain regions that are less likely to break down services.
François Legault and Christian Dubé thought about it Tuesday evening. They would have wanted to impose the vaccination passport on network workers and suspend without pay the recalcitrant at least in some regions, as of Friday as planned. But too many of them would have found themselves weakened.
In almost every sector of Quebec, the withdrawal of unvaccinated workers was an insoluble problem in the short term. For example, in the metropolis, it is pediatric hospitals like Sainte-Justine and the Montreal Children’s Hospital that would have found themselves at high risk of service disruption. Their emergency rooms are already crowded due to the many cases of respiratory problems.
On the Capitale-Nationale side, it was not the hospitals that worried, but the CHSLDs.
Possible de s’adapter
“It was becoming difficult to discriminate between regions, but the more time passes, the more we see where the problems are and we can adapt,” said a source who took part in the discussions, late in the evening on Tuesday, before Christian Dubé decided to capitulate for the time being.
“If we are able to fill in the gaps in certain places, there we could have a regional approach,” adds the same source, according to whom this option is being seriously considered.
As of today, this means that the Capitale-Nationale, Laval and Lanaudière — would be regions more likely to have compulsory vaccination imposed. Conversely, Estrie, Abitibi and Outaouais are considered “very fragile”.
Employees from one region who are suspended could not go to another sector to continue working with impunity since the professional orders will withdraw their right to practice.
Meanwhile, reinforcements are slowly adding. The operation seduction by means of bounties has so far made it possible to add 1756 full-time nurses to the network so far on the iron that it is held hostage by 4% of die-hard unvaccinated.
In the government staff, it is believed that inevitably many stubborn people will reluctantly give in.
Because they will not only suffer the financial impact of a possible suspension without pay and the non-payment of the bonus paid to full-time employees, but also the impact of a cocktail of other restrictions.
They will no longer be able to go to restaurants, movies or theaters, much less travel across the border or fly.
Another option could be to accept as of November 15 employees who have received at least one dose of vaccine, and to bar the road only to those who have refused everything.
The situation should change significantly, because as of last Tuesday, the core of diehards without any dose amounted to 14,000 people in the network.
Christian Dubé’s about-face makes you nauseous. And the one to whom we were ready to attribute the title of man of the year after the success of the vaccination campaign in June seems to bend under the weight of a system plagued by the lack of manpower.
But to fold is not to break. He ruled that his biggest test of credibility was not on the October 15 date, but rather on the culture change he is trying to impose in a network that has become dependent on compulsory overtime.
All the same, let’s hope that for the next round, on November 15, his threats do not seem like empty words.
The PQ was not wrong …
Screenshot, TVA News
On October 6, the PQ asked to push back the threat of suspension of unvaccinated employees because it feared the breakdown of health services. “The cure could be worse than the disease”, said Joel arseneau, who was attacked harshly by François Legault for these comments. But Christian Dubé was forced to admit — that the risk was too great and backed off.
Mask of the week
Screenshot, TVA News
Alongside the Minister of Health, passing through his stronghold of Abitibi on Friday, the Minister of Forests, Pierre Dufour, displayed its colors in accordance with sanitary instructions, wearing a mask … of moose!