7 October 2021
This evening the State Government announced a new Emergency Management (Healthcare Setting Workers Vaccination) (COVID-19) Direction 2021 which applies to all services provided by a hospital or Local Health Network.
The Direction outlines that staff cannot be engaged to work or perform duties in a healthcare setting from 1 November 2021 unless:
- they have had both doses of the vaccine or
- have received their first dose and can provide evidence that they are booked to receive their second dose within one month of the first.
This Direction applies to all staff, consultants and/or contractors who work, volunteer or provide services across our sites and services.
Although there is some scope for medical exemptions, our clinical experts say that there are very few real reasons to not be vaccinated and the benefit of being vaccinated outweighs the risk of any potential side effects from the vaccine. We are really fortunate in CALHN that we have our Specialist Vaccination Clinic and clinical experts to answer any questions you may have. I really do urge you to think carefully and speak with your line manager if unsure and we can ensure that you are able to obtain clinical and expert information. However, if you still believe you have grounds for a medical exemption, please refer to the Direction for more information as there is a specific process that must be undertaken in this event.
I am pleased that the latest statistics show that at least 80% of our staff have received a vaccination and as we continue to gather data we expect this number to increase.
We are working closely with the Department on the finer details of this Direction and will provide more information on this as soon as we can. What I do know is that there are few or no options for redeployment across the network if you are not vaccinated.
The message really is very clear - if you are yet to receive your vaccination, don’t wait any longer and attend a vaccination clinic as soon as possible.
As a CALHN staff member you can walk into the Wayville clinic to receive an express vaccination or attend the Adelaide (Myer Centre) COVID-19 vaccination clinic.
If you receive or have received your COVID-19 vaccination at a non-CALHN vaccination site please provide evidence of your vaccination by emailing a copy of your COVID-19 Vaccine Record to Health.CALHNCovidVaccination@sa.gov.au.
If you are not intending to receive the vaccination, please complete and return the refusal form (aka the ‘declination’ form). So far only 2% of our staff have completed one of these forms and you will be required to do so.
As an organisation we are focused on our preparedness and the safety of our staff and patients. We will play a major role in the response and care of people with COVID-19. As individuals you can contribute to our preparedness by ensuring you and your family are vaccinated. It offers you, your family, your community, your colleagues and importantly your patients the best protection.
I know that for some individuals this Direction will be challenging and I want you to know that we understand this may be a difficult choice. We must comply with the Direction as first and foremost we have an obligation to maintain both a safe workplace and a safe environment for patients we provide care to.
If you have any further questions, the department has released a series of FAQ. Please direct any specific questions you may have to your manager or local Human Resources Business Partner.
Chief Executive Officer
Central Adelaide Local Health Network