Thousands of health workers in France have been suspended without pay for failing to get vaccinated against Covid-19 before the deadline this week, Health Minister Olivier Veran said.
France suspends 3,000 unvaccinated health care workers
France’s national public health agency estimated last week that about 12% of hospital staff and about 6% of doctors in private practices have not yet been vaccinated.
“Some 3,000 suspensions were notified yesterday for employees of health centers and clinics who have not yet been vaccinated,” Veran told RTL radio.
He added that “several dozen” had handed in their resignations instead of registering for jabs.
That compares with 2.7 million healthcare workers overall, Veran said, adding that “continued medical care is assured.”
Based on figures provided by individual hospitals, the actual number of suspended employees could be higher.
The Paris hospital system said 340 workers had been suspended. Local press reports have cited a large number of hospitals in smaller towns: as many as 450 in Nice and 100 in Perpignan.
Available figures point to nearly 1,500 suspensions today at just over a dozen hospitals, according to an AFP tally, with dozens more elsewhere in France.
President Emmanuel Macron gave hospital staff, nursing home workers and the fire department an ultimatum in July to receive at least one pass before Sept. 15 or face unpaid suspension.
France has also made a Covid “health pass” mandatory for entry to cafes, restaurants and many other public places, prompting weekly protests by tens of thousands of people who claim they are being discriminated against.