A total of 123 members of staff have been stood down by the Bay of Plenty District Health Board after failure to comply with the Covid-19 vaccine mandate which came into effect at 11.59 pm on Monday.
As required by the government’s Covid-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Order 2021 staff at medical facilities were required to have had at least their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine by this week’s deadline.
However, 1309 DHB staff members were stood down across the country, as at 9.00am on November 17, after failing to comply with the order, including the 123 in Bay of Plenty.
That total was the second-highest in the country, behind Waikato’s 154.
In total, 42 nurses have been stood down in the Bay of Plenty, four senior medical officers, six midwives and 71 other staff whose job descriptions are unavailable due to privacy reasons.
Neighboring Lakes DHB stood down 42 members of staff.
Lead DHB chief executive Rosemary Clements says DHBs have been actively encouraging staff to get vaccinated and are pleased with the overall high vaccination rates across the sector.
Rosemary says DHBs are continuing to consult with those unvaccinated staff members who are stood down to answer any questions they might have, discuss other options such as redeployment, support them through the process and encourage them to consider vaccination.
She says that staff who choose to be vaccinated while they are stood down will be able to return to the DHB.
“We have engaged and agreed with the health sector unions on the processes we are following,” she says.
Service delivery impacts will vary between DHBs and mitigations are in place where needed to minimise any impact to services, says Rosemary. These include careful staff rostering, and close monitoring of any areas where there may be some staff shortage.
“Our absolute focus is on ensuring continuity of patient care,” she states.
DHBs will reportedly be in a position early next week to provide an update on the numbers of staff who will be leaving the DHBs due to their unvaccinated status.