Vaccination obligation in France: the Order of Physicians considers the lack of vaccination as "a breach of ethics"

Offenders are warned: those who cannot justify a first injection, a vaccine contraindication or a recent contamination “can no longer exercise their activity”.

LThe Covid-19 vaccine obligation came into force on Wednesday for 2.7 million professionals: hospitals, retirement homes, private caregivers, home helpers, firefighters, ambulance attendants. But a small minority still haven’t received a first dose. The ultimatum has expired. Two months after its announcement by Emmanuel Macron, the vaccination obligation applies to the entire healthcare system, in the broad sense.

Offenders are warned: those who cannot justify a first injection, a vaccine contraindication or a recent contamination “can no longer exercise their activity”, according to the law of August 5. This should result for them in the immediate suspension of the employment contract, without remuneration, unless they use days off to delay the deadline. How many will be in this case? Thousands no doubt, even if the estimates vary from simple to tenfold depending on the sources. According to Public Health France (SpF), which is based on samples from Health Insurance, as of September 12, 89.3% of caregivers had received at least one dose in structures welcoming dependent elderly people (Ehpad, USLD) .

“There will perhaps be 1% to 2% of suspensions”, nevertheless estimates Florence Arnaiz-Maumé, general secretary of Synerpa, which represents private nursing homes, and expects “about 3,000 work contracts suspended in the coming days “. In health establishments, “we know that we will be somewhere between 1% and 2% of people not at all vaccinated”, also predicts the director of Public Assistance-Hospitals of Paris (AP-HP), Martin Hirsch . Out of a million public hospital staff, “we will obviously find a few hundred or a few thousand refractories”, comments the President of the French Hospital Federation (FHF), Frédéric Valletoux, convinced that “some will use specific cases to make believe that they are whole battalions ”.

” Zero tolerance ”

However, it takes little to disrupt the hospital. Already, that of Montélimar has to resolve to “non-urgent intervention deprogramming”, because of “the absence of three anesthetists working in the operating room”, and will “reduce the wing” in another department where “three allergists will also be absent ”, all in opposition to the vaccination obligation, indicates its deputy director Philippe Charre.

“As long as there are no replacements, these personnel must be maintained,” demands the emergency physician, and elected LFI, Christophe Prudhomme, who fears nothing less than “the collapse of the system”. “It’s going to be a mess,” also urge the secretary general of the CGT, Philippe Martinez, because in these sectors in tension “even with 5% less staff it does not work anymore”. Fearing other “unmanageable situations”, with sanctions resulting in “closures of beds and services”, FO-Santé demanded “additional time”, as for the overseas departments hit hard by the fourth epidemic wave .

A request swept away by the government: “we will not back down”, warned the Prime Minister, Jean Castex. And beware of those who would like to circumvent the rule. “The refusal to be vaccinated will not give rise to any sick leave”, warned the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, promising “systematic checks” for “any prescription deemed suspicious”.

The administration is in tune: “We are going to have the toughest position possible,” says the director of ARS Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Benoît Elleboode, who plans to “start very quickly” “surprise checks” in the establishments. and among the Liberals. The Order of Physicians will also be “in an unambiguous action” and will consider the lack of vaccination as “an ethical fault”, liable to “disciplinary sanctions” up to and including radiation, states its president, Patrick Bouet.

“We hope that those who are still hesitant will be convinced by the firmness displayed”, explains the director of ARS Île-de-France, Amélie Verdier, who has all the same started “to identify establishments where there could be difficulties for be able to help them ”, by mobilizing“ reinforcements ”if necessary. Aid that will have to be long-term: from October 15, a “complete vaccination schedule” will be required to meet the legal obligation, which no date limit in time.

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