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Compulsory vaccination: 'We don't have the impression of reinforcements arriving'

Compulsory vaccination: ‘We don’t have the impression of reinforcements arriving’

Fear is growing that more services will have to be cut off in Abitibe-Tmiskamengo as the mandatory vaccination begins on Friday.

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According to the head of FIQ at Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Jean-Sebastien Blais, the region has already suffered in the past from various cuts in services.

“There are those who use the term service realignment, but we are going to tell each other the real things, and services are not available. So, we still have a lot of concerns because there is really nowhere to be cut. We are really below the bare minimum services,” he explains.

Currently, Abitibi-Témiscamingue can lose 56 health professionals, including 35 nurses on its territory. The number of reinforcements promised by Quebec’s Minister of Health and Social Services, Christian Dube, has slowly arrived in the northwest of the province.

“Right now, we’ve hired three retired nurses and a few who have agreed to transition from part-time to full-time work. (…) When the nurse transitions from part-time to full-time, we’ll get a quarter, two, maybe three-quarters for everyone,” says Jean-Sebastian Blais.

The FIQ chief wants to know the government’s plan because he fears mandatory overtime could become the emergency solution.

“Yes, we encourage people to get vaccinated, but what we regret is the lack of a plan. We are in complete improvisation. This afternoon, we had a meeting with CISSS, and we were called off at the last minute, and they are clearly not ready,” he confirms.

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