UK Vaccine Directive could evict 123,000 people from the healthcare sector

Government estimates indicate that the UK’s COVID-19 vaccine obligations on UK front-line medical and social care staff could force more than 120,000 people to leave the sector.

Health Minister Sajid Javid announced on Tuesday that all people working in the United Kingdom National Health Service (NHS) and social services must be fully vaccinated to continue working from April 1, 2022. ..

The Ministry of Health (DHSC) said this obligation applies to health care workers who have “direct direct contact” with patients, such as doctors, nurses, dentists, and home care workers. They are exempt.

This rule also applies to porters and receptionists who may have social contact with the patient.

The policy “is aimed at avoiding preventable harm, protecting NHS patients, protecting NHS colleagues, and of course NHS itself,” Javid told the House of Representatives on Tuesday. ..

Impact assessment (pdf) Was also announced on Tuesday, and the government estimated that approximately 54,000 medical and social care staff would accept the jab’s offer as a result of the mandatory vaccine.

However, the policy has had a “significant impact” on the health and care workforce, acknowledging that as many as 123,000 staff could quit their jobs.

By the end of the grace period, a government impact statement estimates that approximately 88,000 health care workers, including 73,000 NHS staff, and 35,000 social care workers will remain unvaccinated. ..

The statement said that when the UK healthcare system was “expanding with a selective waiting list of 5.72 million people and high levels of vacancies,” a reduction in the number of medical and social care staff could lead to reduced or delayed services. There is sex. “

The Impact Report also estimates that “the cost of replacing unvaccinated workers is £ 270 million ($ 365 million).”

The main opposition Labor Party said it wanted NHS staff to be vaccinated, but advised the government to “go cautiously” because of the potential shortage of staff.

“Overnight,” Shadow Health Secretary John Ashworth said on Tuesday that the NHS Trust was concerned that the policy “could exacerbate some of these chronic staffing problems.” I can’t afford to lose thousands of NHS staff. “

Also on Tuesday, Northern Ireland officials announced plans for compulsory COVID-19 and public consultation on influenza vaccination for new employees in state health and social welfare workers.

However, the Government of Wales and the Scottish Government do not plan to introduce mandatory vaccines for health and social welfare staff.

PA contributed to this report.

Alexander Chan