B.C. health-care clinical staff will be able to work at numerous facilities starting Jan. 1 as a provincial health order ends.
The government made the announcement in mid-December that as of Jan. 1, 2023, clinical staff will no longer be limited to working at one site.
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Health workers will still need to be immunized with a primary COVID-19 vaccine series unless they have an exemption from the provincial health officer.
“Given British Columbia’s high level of vaccination against COVID-19 among all staff in long-term-care and assisted-living facilities, it’s no longer necessary to have restrictions on where health-care staff can work,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer.
“We will continue to closely monitor COVID-19 cases in all health-care settings and adapt our approach as needed to protect the health and safety of patients, residents and staff.”
This includes staff working at long-term care and assisted-living facilities, provincial mental-health facilities, private hospitals, and extended-care hospitals.
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The B.C. Care Providers Association said it’s a move that should have been done earlier but will be beneficial for staffing issues across the province.
“When we’re short-staffed, residents aren’t receiving the level of care that they need and deserve — because there’s just enough not enough (staff),” said Terry Lake, B.C. Care Providers Association’s CEO.
“Having more flexibility in the system with the lifting of the single-site order, I think will give us more of an ability to fill those shifts to make sure people are getting the full level of care that they should receive every day.”
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Extra funding for staff wages working in the sector will continue, according to the Ministry of Heath.
“COVID-19 has been challenging for people working in long-term-care and assisted-living facilities, and we’re committed to continuing to support them so they, in turn, can continue providing our most-vulnerable citizens with the consistent, compassionate and high-quality care they deserve,” said Adrian Dix, B.C.’s Minister of Health.
“Ensuring all health-care workers receive appropriate compensation for their invaluable work is a key commitment in our Health Human Resources Strategy.”
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