Caregivers not vaccinated against Covid-19: how will their reintegration into the hospital go?

Almost two years after being suspended from duty for refusing the Covid vaccinea few thousand caregivers will very quickly be able to go back to their hospital or healthcare facility. The government published, Sunday in the Official Journal, a decree allowing them to return to work.

In the process, the heads of establishment will have to contact each suspended professional to offer him a position as well as a date of resumption. Under what conditions will this return take place? How many caregivers are specifically affected? We take stock.

Is reinstatement automatic?

The decree of the Ministry of Health lifts the obligation to vaccinate against Covid, from the day after its publication, i.e. in principle this Monday, May 15. Since the vaccination obligation has been lifted, employers are required to offer their suspended caregivers a reinstatement, “as soon as possible and if possible within two weeks” after the date of publication of the decree for public establishments. In fact, a number of health establishments have already recontacted the suspended caregivers to prepare for their return.

Will suspended caregivers be reinstated?

In principle, the suspended agent has the right to resume his duties in the position he occupied. An “equivalent position” may be offered to him, provided that he is located in the same geographical location.

The ignment to an “equivalent position” must be motivated by a constraint of the functioning of the services (for example if his former position is now occupied) and must not present any “discriminatory nature”.

What if the caregiver refuses the proposed position? In the event of a dispute, mediation can be organized in order to find another condition that suits all parties. If the situation remains blocked, the agent employed in the public can be removed from the executives for abandonment of post, after a simple formal notice. In the event of a dispute, conventional termination is also possible, with the exception of hospital practitioners (doctors from the public hospital). In the private sector, the “contractual rupture” can also be proposed.

How many people involved?

At the end of 2021, France imposed a vaccination obligation for 2.7 million people, caregivers but also staff in hospitals and retirement homes, paramedics, home helpers and even firefighters. It is difficult to know precisely how many people have since left their post. According to the Ministry of Health, only a few thousand would be concerned: “about 3,000”, again essed this Monday the Minister of Health, François Braun.

In March, the figure of 0.3% of hospital workers had been put forward by the Ministry of Health. But for Elsa Ruillère, suspended caregiver and elected from the CGT Santé, “between 20,000 and 40,000” people would have been suspended. “The ministry forgets the private sector and the ociations,” said this hospital management istant.

Do all caregivers want to return to work?

Mostly yes, answers Elsa Ruillère. According to her, only “about a fifth” of the suspended caregivers has definitely given up on their original profession. Regarding the reintegrated caregivers, a little more than half should return to their post, she estimates.

“We will find out from today”, advances the Minister of Health François Braun, questioned on Franceinfo this Monday morning.

Can we imagine friction in the services?

For the emergency doctor Mathias Wargon, “the less militant will return to a hospital in great suffering, which will probably be happy to welcome them”. “More difficult will be the reintegration of those who campaigned against vaccines and barrier measures,” he said in a statement. column published in Le Monde.

“There will always be a few sideways glances, but many people” will welcome the non-vaccinated without any problem, believes for her part Elsa Ruillère, who says she had no problem when she returned to her post after being sick with Covid – non-vaccinated people who contracted Covid could be temporarily reinstated.

Note, however, the return of unvaccinated caregivers is not final: if the pandemic starts again, the government has the possibility of again suspending the caregivers concerned.

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