Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has issued an order requiring all health-care professionals disclose their vaccination status to their profession’s regulatory bodies.
The order is the first step in a previously announced plan to require 39 regulated professions in B.C. to be vaccinated for COVID-19.
The order will require registrants to provide vaccination status to their regulatory colleges by March 31.
The province had previously announced that all private health-care workers would have to be vaccinated by March 24, a deadline that now appears to have been delayed.
Prior to Monday’s public health order, regulatory bodies like the B.C. College of Physicians and Surgeons had no ability to obtain vaccination status from their members.
That means the impact of the planned mandate, through health-care professionals that may stop practicing in B.C., is still completely unknown.
Castanet News contacted several of the largest regulatory colleges in the B.C. health-care sector on Monday, asking questions about how many professionals could leave practices as a result of the mandate.
None were able to provide answers.
B.C. required last year that all public-sector health-care workers be vaccinated against COVID-19. In the B.C. Interior, that meant letting go of nearly 900 workers.
The incoming mandate will extend that requirement to the private sector, covering everything from family doctors, dentists, massage therapists, pharmacists and more.
Salmon Arm dentist Robert Johnson blasted the plans in a video on social media last week, suggesting the public’s access to health care will be hurt by the measure.