Health Ministry bracing for ‘great exodus’

Health Ministry bracing for ‘great exodus’

With the deadline for the mandatory vaccination of health workers expiring on Wednesday, the Heath Ministry is preparing for an imminent “great exodus” of staff due to the suspensions that will ensue with a wide array of preemptive measures to fill the gaps and to ensure that services are fully operational.

These measures include a reshuffle of healthcare workers within hospitals, mergers of clinics and departments, the replacement of those suspended with auxiliary staff and partnerships with the private sector for support services such as catering, care etc.

Wednesday is the last day for staff to get at least the first dose of vaccine against Covid-19 so as to avoid suspension as of tomorrow. The government has insisted the relevant legislation for mandatory vaccinations will be strictly implemented.

Those who are exempt from the precepts of the legislation are obviously those that have already been vaccinated and workers who have been infected with the coronavirus within the last six months. 

Those who do not fall into these categories and have not received approval for exemption due to health issues by the competent committees will be suspended.

Moreover, as clarified by the former deputy minister of health, Vassilis Kontozamanis, based on the payroll system in the public sector, which provides advance payment of earnings every two weeks, the government will request that they return this amount of salary as unduly paid.

Speaking on the radio station 9.84 on Tuesday, Secretary General of Health Services Yiannis Kotsiopoulos estimated that about 10,000 health workers will not continue working in the National Health System. 

According to the most recent data, more than 90% of the doctors and 80% of the nurses had been vaccinated against Covid-19, while the percentages are lower for the rest of the staff.

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