It is not only in France that caregivers will soon have to be vaccinated to work. Compulsory vaccination for health workers comes into force Wednesday in Greece, under penalty of dismissal for the recalcitrant.
The measure was announced on July 12 during a speech by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. All unvaccinated health workers in the country are threatened with suspension.
10,000 caregivers threatened with suspension
Some 10,000 unvaccinated professionals to date are affected by a threat of suspension in the country, or 10% of the total workforce, according to estimates by the National Federation of Public Hospital Workers. The ambulance service will have to work in particular with 1,245 professionals less, according to the economic newspaper Naftemporiki.
“We are pushing health personnel to be vaccinated but we are against compulsory vaccination which poses a democratic problem,” Dimitris Kourouvalakis, member of the Executive Committee of the National Federation of Public Hospital Workers, told AFP. This federation “will call for a strike and a rally in front of the Ministry of Health in the event of suspensions”, warned its president, Michalis Giannakos, to the Greek press agency ANA.
Gatherings in front of hospitals against compulsory vaccination
Several rallies took place Wednesday morning in front of various hospitals across the country to oppose compulsory vaccination and to highlight the consequences caused by the dismissal of staff on the functioning of health services.
The government has taken steps to encourage as many people as possible to get vaccinated to fight the spread of the Delta variant. Among the patients hospitalized on artificial respirators, almost all are not vaccinated.
At the beginning of July, the Greek parliament adopted a bill making compulsory the vaccination of nursing staff and employees of retirement homes. More than 5.7 million of the 10.7 million people in Greece are fully vaccinated.