Unvaccinated health professionals who were suspended from their jobs will not get their jobs back, Health Minister François Braun announced Friday.
The authorities have agreed on a “negative” recommendation on this issue and “the government’s position is clear,” Braun said in a statement during a visit to a hospital in Seine-et-Marte, on the outskirts of Paris.
These words of the minister came a few minutes after the French High Health Authority (HAS) maintained today its opinion that vaccination against the coronavirus remains mandatory for health professionals.
Current epidemic data “do not allow questioning the current vaccination obligation,” due to the rising numbers of the seventh wave of the pandemic, said the HAS, an independent advisory body.
The HAS recommendation came three days after the National Academy of Medicine expressed its “strong opposition” to the reinstatement of these workers because they say that refusal to vaccinate is “incompatible with the health profession.”
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According to the Academy, about 0.3 % of hospital professionals (including healthcare and other categories) were suspended from their jobs since September 2021. The measure affected those working as salaried employees or in the public sector.
“The law does not allow them (unvaccinated health workers) to remain permanently suspended,” so it is “convenient to organize their return,” said Senator Philippe Bas of the conservative Republican Party (LR) on Thursday.
In early July, the leftist France Insoumise (LFI) and the right-wing National Rally (RN) called for the reinstatement of unvaccinated health professionals due to the difficult situation in hospitals because of the summer vacations and because many professionals have changed jobs due to saturation.
RN deputy Thomas Ménagé criticized last week in the hemicycle the “contempt of the Government” towards professionals who are “at the limit” in “hospitals that are cracking, while some of their colleagues are expelled as if they were garbage”.
According to the latest published data, France recorded 80,869 new cases of coronavirus on Thursday, with an incidence rate of 1,038.2 infections per 100,000 inhabitants.