The Herald reports:
Three Waikato Hospital nurses have been suspended for defying a controversial new policy forcing non-vaccinated workers to either get flu jabs or wear face masks.
Waikato District Health Board has defended its stance, saying any staff member who refused to comply could face the sack.
Last month, the board became the first in the country to make it compulsory for unvaccinated staff to wear masks, to protect employees and patients from the flu.
I think this is fair enough. Patients in hospital are vulnerable to sickness, and catching the flu from a nurse could literally kill you.
Nurses still have the choice – get vaccinated, or wear a mask.
“When considering that our employee numbers are in excess of 6,500, the reality is that almost all staff are getting on with doing their duties and they recognise that the intent of the policy is to provide a safer clinical environment for our patients and fellow employees,” the spokesman said.
But the Nurses Organisation sees the measure as a “punitive action” against staff, some of whom have turned to the union for support.
The DHB is putting the rights of patients not to catch the flu in hospital ahead of the rights of staff to give them the flu.