how health facilities are preparing for their reintegration

Nurses protect themselves before visiting a patient infected with Covid-19 in the intensive care unit of the Timone hospital, in Marseille, on January 5, 2022.

The reintegration of unvaccinated caregivers will take place. It should start on Monday May 15: the decree suspending the obligation to vaccinate against Covid-19, initialed by the Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne, and the Minister of Health, François Braun, was published at Official newspaper this Sundayfor next day application.

No surprise on the calendar: as soon as the opinion to this effect was given by the High Authority for Health – which, on March 30, revised its doctrine to suggest that the injection should henceforth be “highly recommended” to the professionals concerned – Mr. Braun had undertaken to follow the course indicated by the scientific authority. Despite the concern expressed by many healthcare and patient ociations. The obligation had been fixed, in the summer of 2022, by the law of exit from the state of health emergency.

The “method”, detailed in an instruction sent a few days ago to prefects and regional health agencies, provides for a return to work ” if possible ” within two weeks of the publication of the decree. By the end of May, therefore. With a reignment to the position previously occupied or to a “equivalent job” for public officials and medical personnel. This is where the “principle” retained, even if a change of ignment may be proposed “in the interest of the service”, can we read in the document ; or even a contractual termination, in the event of difficulties or disagreement.

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If the staff refuses the position offered by the employer, they may be subject to expulsion for ” abandonment of position “. But “The challenge is for this stage to go as well as possible… or in any case as smoothly as possible”, explain to World the Minister of Health, François Braun, by reporting a “real concern” about possible tensions “revived”, for the occasion, within the teams.

Less than 4,000 agents concerned

These returns are not likely to look like a “breaking wave”. Nor can they be a response to the hospital recruitment crisis, we insist on the ground: if, in the fall of 2021, when the vaccination obligation for 2.7 million people (caregivers but also staff in hospitals or retirement homes, paramedics, home helpers and even firefighters), the government had estimated 15,000 people “suspended or suspendable”, the official estimates, in eighteen months, have melted. Avenue de Ségur, today we advance the figure of 0.3% of professionals still concerned. Less than 4,000 agents, therefore, out of a total of 1.2 million in the public hospital service; half in the health sector, half in the medico-social, we advance to the Hospital Federation of France (FHF).

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