NEWS

 No Jab, No Job Policy Fired: 54 Medics, 122 Teachers

Some of the reasons provided to the ministry for refusing to receive the vaccination included that it was a personal choice, some teachers were not comfortable with the vaccination, and others stated religious and health reasons and a few teachers did not want to state any reasons,
18 Sep 2021 11:52
 No Jab, No Job Policy Fired: 54 Medics, 122 Teachers
Permanent Secretary Dr James Fong

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services has terminated the contracts of 54 medical personnel because of Government’s ‘no jab, no job’ policy.

This was the revealed made by Permanent Secretary Dr James Fong on Friday.

In the Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts, 122 teachers were terminated because of the same.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama in July this year announced the ‘no jab, no job’ policy. It outlined that civil servant could return to work if they had received, at least, the first dose of the vaccine by August 15.

Mr Bainimarama said as civil servants, it was their duty of care to be fully vaccinated.

Dr Fong said according to the statistics gathered by his team on the ground to date, those who had their contracts terminated included:

  • 30 nursing and midwifery staff,
  • 15 support services staff,
  • 4 medical officers,
  • 2 oral health staff,
  • 1 dietetics staff,
  • 1 physiotherapist and
  • 1 health inspector.

This he said were numbers gathered from the four divisions all over the country.

Dr Fong said this would not affect service delivery in hospitals because the ministry was already in a process of recruiting more health staff to cushion the numbers of those who have had their contracts terminated.

“There will be no disruptions in our services, as we will continue to recruit people. There are many potential applicants that we have,” he said.

Dr Fong added that all processes were duly followed in the termination of contracts which included enabling staff to take up pending leave before a final decision was made.

Minister for Health and Medical Services Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete said it was crucial that all medical staff be vaccinated because an unvaccinated person posed a great risk to the vulnerable population and for themselves as they get into contact with sick people daily.

As of 31 August 2020, the Ministry of Health recorded that there were 892 doctors in Fiji’s health facilities with close to 3000 nursing staff.

Some countries that have also put in place the ‘no jab, no jab’ policy for its medical staff included France, Canada, United Kingdom and the United States of America.

This week, 3000 medical staff in France were suspended without pay for choosing not to be vaccinated.

France 24 reported that ‘several dozen’ had turned in their resignations rather than sign up for the jabs.

Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts

On the 122 teachers sacked, Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts Premila Kumar outlined the number of teachers for each division:

  • 33 teachers in the Central Division,
  • Seven in the Eastern Division,
  • 20 in the Northern and
  • 62 teachers in the Western Division.

“Some of the reasons provided to the ministry for refusing to receive the vaccination included that it was a personal choice, some teachers were not comfortable with the vaccination, and others stated religious and health reasons and a few teachers did not want to state any reasons,” she said.

Ms Kumar said the safety of students was paramount and it was important for teachers to be vaccinated.

“Teachers stating medical conditions as a reason have failed to provide a letter of exemption from the Ministry of Health and Medical Services,” she said.

“To keep students safe, it is important that adults around them are fully vaccinated so the possibility of transmission from adults to students is reduced.”



Five Square diwali dhamaka 2021


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