Thursday, January 6, 2022

Province decries treatment of Health Care staffers over testing issues

COVID testing centres such as that
in Prince Rupert's Ocean Centre
are finding growing levels of
residents seeing testing
The Province of British Columbia is providing its support for their beleaguered Health Care sector workers, with a statement from Wednesday expressing the government's outrage and disappointment at how some British Columbians are treating Health Care staffers.

The statement issued by Dr. Bonnie Henry, BC;s Public Health Officer, Adrian Dix Minister of health and Mike Farnworth Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General outlined the reports of threats and intimidation made to health care workers over the ongoing COVID testing program.

“B.C.’s health-care workers are doing an exceptional job under the most challenging of circumstances. They deserve the support of all of us, particularly now as we work together to manage this next phase of the pandemic. 

We have received reports of health-care workers at COVID-19 testing centres being intimidated, threatened and otherwise verbally harassed by some people seeking tests. 

The Government of B.C. recently brought into force the Access to Services Act to help protect the safety and well-being of health-care workers at testing centres, and impeding services or intimidating workers at these sites is illegal. Incidents of threats and aggressive behaviour will be reported to police. 

Our health-care workers need a safe and respectful workplace, free of abuse and threats of violence, so they can continue their work to keep us safe."

The testing regimen in the province has come under significant stress of late, particularly as the Omicron variant continues its surge across British Columbia and towards the testing program, the Province has revised some of their thinking on the process.

“If you do not have any symptoms, you do not need to be tested. Please do not attempt to access testing services. This will allow health-care workers to prioritize care to those who need it. 

If you have had a test recommended by a medical professional or the online COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool, please seek a COVID-19 test through your local health authority."  

Some of the pressures on the testing program came through December and were as a result of a bit of mixed messaging from the health authorities on what the process was and who should be seeking testing.

The statement of Wednesday and Tuesday's COVID briefing from Doctor Henry and Minister Dix seem to be providing for some guidance towards that confusion as we move forward into January.

More on the statement can be explored here.

A look at the COVID-19 situation and the rise of the Omicron variant can be reviewed through our archive page here.

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