FIQ: Suspension of unvaccinated nurses' licences 'excessive'

FIQ said it is willing to take legal steps

FIQ: Suspension of unvaccinated nurses' licences 'excessive'

A Quebec union representing health-workers slammed the directive of the Quebec Order of Nurses (OIIQ) to suspend the "right to practice" of unvaccinated nurses – labelling it as “excessive”. The Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec (FIQ) acknowledged that the priority is to protect the health and safety of vulnerable people and staff.

"On the other hand, the FIQ considers the Ordre des infirmières et infirmiers du Québec's decision excessive given that frontline health-care professionals who are not adequately vaccinated will already be suspended without pay," the FIQ said on its post.

It added that it’s willing to take to courts any decision that could be considered excessively harmful to its members. The FIQ was responding to the OIIQ's announcement on Monday to suspend the "right to practice" for some of its nurses who are not fully immunised against COVID-19 by October 15. About 4,000 members of OIIQ remain unvaccinated as of Monday, according to OIIQ president Luc Mathieu. Suspension will be in place for these workers until they are able to provide proof of vaccination, he said as reported by CTV.

Read more: Thousands of unvaccinated healthcare workers face suspension

"Since the start of the vaccination campaign to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, we have encouraged our members to be vaccinated adequately in order to protect themselves and the people they are called to serve in the exercise of their profession. We continue to encourage them to do so," said Mathieu.

 The announcement is in line with the directive from Health Minister Christian Dubé, who said that health-workers who’re not yet fully vaccinated by October 15 will be suspended without pay, CTV News reported. Dubé responded to OIIQ's instructions over Twitter, saying that workers will not be able to bypass the compulsory vaccinations by October 15. He encouraged all nurses who have yet to be vaccinated to go ahead and get the jabs.

"It's never too late," he said.  

The OIIQ's move to suspend unvaccinated workers' right to practice follows the similar instructions issued by the Collège des Médecins, CBC reported.

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