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Occasional Advisor
Posts: 17
Registered: ‎07-23-2010

Physicians and flu shots - compliance?

Sharing a question posed from a local professional organization of infection preventionists:

 

What do you do with medical staff like MDs, surgeons and anesthesia providers who will not take the flu vaccine what do you do with them? Do you have P&Ps specific to doctors? Any light on the subject would be appreciated.

Advisor
Posts: 16
Registered: ‎02-25-2010

Re: Physicians and flu shots - compliance?

I can't understand what the problem is here, other than a policy decision. Children, at least up here are required to be vaccinated, and otherwise immunized for DPT etc before starting school. This is for the public protection against communicable diseases. Many jurisdictions require assorted immunizations before individuals can go to certain areas and Travel clinics are kept busy prescribing assorted drugs for individuals seeking to travel to malaria or typhoid risk areas.

 

If a physician or other health care worker wants to practice in an area that may expose him/her to a communicable disease  they must be required to be protected or else work somewhere else.

 

I would not want to be treated by a health care worker who has not be vacinnated and has been exposed to a possible pathogen.

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VIP
Posts: 94
Registered: ‎02-26-2010

Re: Physicians and flu shots - compliance?

@Northof49: I can't speak to how it is in Canada, having been there only a couple of times (lovely country, though), but down here, it is fairly common for physicians not to be hospital employees. Rather, they are independent practitioners who work within a self-regulating medical staff. Because they are not hospital employees, it becomes rather difficult to "force" them to get flu shots or other vaccinations the same way that we can require this for our nurses, pharmacy staff, and other hospital employees. So, I believe the scope of this thread was asking what ways and means do we have of dealing with physicians who do not, or refuse, to get vaccinations. This arrangement is not, in my humble opinion, the best or most efficient means of running an organization (imagine any other industry operating like this!), but it is the landscape that we have, and thus we must work within it.

Graham O'Hea, Pharmacy Systems Analyst
Advisor
Posts: 16
Registered: ‎02-25-2010

Re: Physicians and flu shots - compliance?

Thanks for your comments. Let me clear up a misunderstanding. Not all physicians are employees of a hospital. Non staff physicians are independent practitioners that have privileges that permit them to refer patients for admission and to visit their patients who may have been admitted for surgical or other procedures. The concept of allowing these independent practitioners to enter and care for patients in a hospital or other institutional setting without proper protection (immunization against contagious diseases) is, in my opinion, a danger to staff and patients of the institution. Just as an workplace may regulate their employees for safety, they can also regulate visitors for safety. (try entering a construction site as a visitor without a hard hat and safety boots)  I believe that a hospital can limit a visiting physicians access if they are not protected. If a US hospital allows an unprotected physician to see patients and interact with staff, I sure would not want to work or visit or be a patient at that hospital.

VIP
Posts: 94
Registered: ‎02-26-2010
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Re: Physicians and flu shots - compliance?

@Northof49 - could not agree more.

Graham O'Hea, Pharmacy Systems Analyst