The Acting Premier Jeremy Rockliff has announced there is to be a mandatory vaccination of all Tasmanian health care workers, including employees of the Department of Health, Tasmanian Health Service and Ambulance Tasmania.
The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) Tasmanian Branch Secretary Emily Shepherd said today “we were only advised minutes before this was announced and we were not consulted on this decision”.
The ANMF understands that the mandate will:
- Require all Nurses, Midwives and Assistants in Nursing to have had their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine or a booking for a first dose by 31 October 2021. Workers will be given access to vaccines with workplace clinics and the Tasmanian Health system will work with the private sector to provide clinical space for their health workforce.
- There will be provision for medical exemptions for individuals who cannot be vaccinated due to a medical condition.
- Public Sector employee who for personal reasons do not wish to be vaccinated will be supported individually by the Tasmanian Health Service to be re-deployed to a low-risk work setting.
- There is a commitment to work with unions on the roll out and what this will mean for all members.
- Workers will be required to provide evidence of their vaccine or exemption to their employer.
“The ANMF has sought urgent information on this decision so that we can reliably inform members. We have also requested an urgent meeting with the Department of Health to better understand what this will mean for members. At this stage it is thought that around 80% of public health care workers are already vaccinated, however this is yet to be confirmed,” Ms Shepherd said.
The ANMF has also sought advice in relation to a workforce strategy should this mandate lead to further vacancies thereby depleting an already overstretched workforce.
“The ANMF will provide further details and information to members as soon as it is available,” Ms Shepherd said.
ANMF Tasmanian Branch Secretary
Mobile: 0400 884 021