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Compulsory vaccination and suspended caregivers: what impact in Brittany?  – France

The entry into force, this Wednesday, of the vaccination obligation for 2.7 million caregivers in France, would it lead to a disorganization of the health system? What would it be like in Brittany? By a law passed on August 5, this measure entails, for offenders, the impossibility of carrying out their activity if they cannot justify a first injection, a vaccine contraindication or a recent contamination. The people targeted: professionals from hospitals, retirement homes, private caregivers, home helpers, firefighters, ambulance drivers, etc.

No “consolidated data” at ARS yet

On this first day, difficult to know in an exhaustive way, the repercussions of this tightening of screws that the government says it wants to apply firmly. Asked, the Regional Health Agency indicated that it was not “able to communicate on the subject, the data being still being consolidated”. An answer is expected, at the earliest, Friday.

However, reassuring information about the continuity of care in Brittany has come back to us on Wednesday and in recent days. The first concern the vaccination coverage of Breton caregivers, among the highest in the country. According to Public Health France, more than 96% of liberal professionals in the region had received at least one dose of vaccine as of September 13, as had 93% of staff working in structures welcoming dependent elderly people (Ehpad, USLD). Important scores confirmed by Bertrand Coignec, general manager of Amitiés d’Armor, an association which manages ten nursing homes in the country of Brest: “We have a little more than 99% of employees vaccinated. For the remaining 1%, we have different situations, some took their leave in advance, or even a sabbatical, and we have a few cases for which we are in the process of taking a measure of suspension of the employment and remuneration contract ”, he explains. With what consequences on the activity? “We have an establishment with two or three situations that complicate things a bit. Now, at our level, that does not call into question our proper functioning. Employees who have complied with the vaccination obligation are mobilizing so that there is no impact ”, underlines Bertrand Coignec, also vice-president of Fnadepa, a federation of directors of establishments. It nevertheless notes more difficult situations in some isolated Breton nursing homes where several employees are not vaccinated and while the sector is “under staff strain”.

Regarding liberal health professionals, no massive cessation of activity was reported. “We do not yet have this type of feedback even if we have received more or less virulent questions from certain professionals when the texts have been taken”, indicates Patrice Thoraval, president of URPS (Regional Union of health professionals) liberal nurses in Brittany.

“Black Wednesday did not take place”

In Breton hospitals, there too, the situation seemed under control. “We spoke with some HRDs and as we suspected, the” black Wednesday “that some were waiting for did not take place”, confirmed Thierry Gamond Rius, first vice-president of the Hospital Federation of France (FHF) in Brittany , by press release. “Things went well because the establishments were perfectly able to anticipate things”. In Brest and Carhaix, only 74 people were suspended pending regularization, or barely 1% of professionals, according to figures shared by the human resources department of these hospitals. With an impact on activity considered “extremely marginal”. At the Cornouaille hospital in Quimper, management said on Wednesday that “the absences will be low enough not to impact the operation. The vast majority of staff are vaccinated and have provided proof. A few people have nonetheless voiced their opposition to vaccination ”. In Lorient, same observation. Already in August, the Southern Brittany Hospital Group indicated that nearly 95% of caregivers had received at least one dose. “The consequences in the services will perhaps be seen less in Morbihan, where the vaccination rate is high compared to other departments”, suggests Ludovic Bénabès secretary general of the departmental union CGT health and social action. He nevertheless judges “surrealist to suspend staff in services where there is already a lack of hands …”

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