Vaccine Mandates Called For Tassie Teachers As State Braces For Looming Outbreaks
Covering all bases
Teachers and education staff across Tasmania are the next likely cohort to be issued a Covid vaccine mandate.
In a bid to prepare schools and classrooms for the return of the virus to the Apple Isle once border open, a range of measures are being addressed to determine the best outcome.
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However, Education minister Sarah Courtney said they are covering all their bases.
"We're going to be looking at elements such as ventilation, masks, social distancing, hygiene measure," she confirmed, "We want to make sure that these measures are in place for Term one in 2022".
- MP Sarah Courtney
Meantime Unions are warning Tasmania's health system could be left in the lurch as the vaccine deadline looms for healthcare workers.
Three per cent of workers still yet to roll up their sleeves, are facing pressure to get the jab or leave their job.
Secretary for the Health and Community Services Union, Tim Jacobson, believes there could be some major consequences for hospitals.
"If those people leave the system, refuse to have their shot, it will leave some services without the specialist services they will require".
It comes as nurses protested over inadequate staffing outside the Hobart Private Hospital on Wednesday.
Lengthy year-long negotiations between the hospital and the Health and Community Services Union over their Enterprise Bargaining Agreement have been going on since November 2020.
Mr Jacobson is aware that with staff numbers as they are, the private hospital is ill-equipped to manage if a Covid outbreak occurs.
“We have a private hospital that is well below the average in terms of nursing numbers in particular than the other facilities in Tasmania and are struggling to recruit staff,” Mr Jacobson said.
“What staff want are additional hands on the job on a daily basis to provide some additional support in the event that nursing staff aren’t available for their shifts.”
- Tim Jacobson
With the "unending cycle of crisis” within the public hospital system with reduced hospital beds, overcrowded emergency departments and longer waits for elective surgery, it seems reasonable the state's private sector needs to be 'able and ready' to take the slack, until reforms and funding are overhauled.
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