Canadian healthcare workers worry about safety as anti-vaccine messaging escalates

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — With frustrations over the COVID-19 pandemic reaching a boiling point, doctors and nurses say they’re getting increasingly worried about safety at work.

This week, protesters in B.C., Ontario and Quebec took to busy streets and hospital entrances which impacted many frontline workers.

Days after the demonstration, healthcare workers have continued to speak out against how the disruptive rallies affected people seeking treatment and other hospital services.

Related Articles: 

Dr. Alika Lafontaine, the president-elect of the Canadian Medical Association, says healthcare workers and patients have been stressed throughout the pandemic, but “this stress level has reached a new level.”

“Across the country, we’ve been seeing patients and healthcare workers who are against mandatory vaccinations and other COVID restrictions marching in protest against the role that government is having in this and healthcare workers are now being dragged into this — where they are now the focus of a lot of aggression, and at times violence,” Lafontaine says.

In Victoria, health care workers were verbally abused and in one case — physically assaulted.

A similar situation also occurred in Kelowna, where nurses were brought to tears.

Related Video:

Lafontaine says, the bullying and harassment of healthcare workers who have worked tirelessly for months is wrong, unacceptable and has crossed a line.

“This type of escalation that’s now above just the frustration level, and now enters into territory where … the County Medical Association and other advocacy groups for healthcare workers across the country are now increasingly concerned about the safety of healthcare workers.”

Lafontaine hopes to remind people that despite if a patient is “upset with us or not, and vaccinated or not … at the end of the day, health care workers will continue to be here for you.” Which he says is all the more reason to ensure we “keep our healthcare workforce healthy and resilient. In order for us to continue to be providing the care that you need during this pandemic.”

“But the stresses on the system can be mitigated if people make better choices,” he says adding, unvaccinated patients have continued to drive the pandemic, leading to frustration among healthcare workers.

“We don’t only worry about them in the state that they’re in, but also that a lot of this here is preventable if people just get vaccinated and follow public health guidelines.”

Top Stories

Top Stories

Most Watched Today