Tension mounts for hospital workers as mandatory vaccination deadline passes

Tension mounts for hospital workers as  mandatory vaccination deadline passes

Louis-Constant Fleming Hospital

MARIGOT—Préfet Serge Gouteyron said Thursday he has no authority to override decisions made by regional health authority ARS after saying on Wednesday he would try to persuade ARS and Louis- Constant Fleming Hospital management to hold off on imposing sanctions on hospital personnel who have not been vaccinated pending a new meeting between all parties.

  Friday, October 15, was the deadline for health care personnel in the overseas territories to present a full vaccination status to avoid being suspended from their jobs. Many hospital workers in St. Martin are continuing their strike against the vaccination obligation.

  On Wednesday members of the collectives supporting the hospital strike as well as hospital staff met the préfet for a pre-arranged meeting to present their counter proposals to the protocol agreement signed already by the préfet and President Daniel Gibbs. At the time the collectives refused to sign the protocol due to omissions in the text and other reasons.

  Instead, collective member Lenny Mussington requested the meeting focus on the vaccination obligation for health care personnel in light of the approaching deadline. He warned of a “threat to the continuity of health care in the hospital” and asked the préfet to manage the heath crisis in a “local” context and not a national context.

  The ARS has refused the préfet’s request for a delay in enforcing the measures due to the legal obligations ARS must follow. The next meeting set for all parties is now October 21. Strikers have said around 100 hospital workers are defying the vaccination obligation and risk losing their jobs.

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