Netherlands

Cabinet wants vaccination registration in healthcare, but unclear how, what and when

At Middin, an organization for help to people with intellectual disabilities in South Holland, they are happy with the minister’s promise. “We suspect that at some locations only half of our employees are vaccinated and would like to know who they are. This way, those employees can take extra measures when they work with our most vulnerable,” says Saskia Martens, manager of the treatment service. and health care psychologist.

Martens directs speech therapists, physiotherapists, doctors and other practitioners who weekly visit a number of locations where the clients live. “We have locations where working with mouth-nose masks is really not possible. A large group of people with intellectual disabilities need our facial expressions in communication, there are also problems with intelligibility or they do not recognize us with a mask.”

Less contagious

The safety of the client is the main reason for the disabled sector, but also for elderly care and home care, for wanting insight into the vaccination coverage of the staff. The idea is that vaccinated people are less contagious, as RIVM research concluded earlier about the alpha variant. There is no research yet to prove this for the now dominant delta variant, but experts expect that vaccination will at least partially prevent the transmission of the virus.

At Middin, not only the managers, but also many residents and their family members are in favor of registration. “We understand the dilemma very well, but see that this now creates a lot of uncertainty and fear. We think unvaccinated staff is actually too great a risk for this target group, which often cannot decide for itself,” says Ineke van Santen, on behalf of the central client council. .

In recent weeks, employers’ unions in care have called on politicians to gain insight into the vaccination rate of staff. They also held several talks with the Ministry of Health, the tenor of which was that the cabinet would not yet dare to take a position on this sensitive privacy issue. But that is now outdated.

There is still a lot of doubt about the registration among the hundreds of thousands of healthcare workers in the Netherlands. Although the minister said registration should not be mandatory, some unions have already said they are against any form of registration. They fear for the privacy of the employees.

Saskia Martens from Middin hopes to allay some of that fear. “We do this for our residents and for our closest colleagues, but we don’t want vaccination urges. We don’t even need a central request, but want to be able to use registration specifically where we think we need it.”

How, what and when

No decisions have yet been made about what the vaccination registration in healthcare should look like. An amendment to the GDPR privacy legislation is mentioned as a possibility, but such a process can take a long time. In a letter to the House of Representatives, the minister also writes about the possible possibility of using corona tickets in healthcare.

According to privacy expert Jeroen Terstegge, the Working Conditions Decree offers another possibility. “It already contains a general obligation for employers to take measures to prevent the risk of contamination with the coronavirus, such as working from home and keeping a distance. You can also add the vaccination registration to this. Employers must first do a risk inventory. to the question of whether such a registration actually helps to reduce the risk of contamination.”

There must be a need for registration for each position. For example, you have to get close to vulnerable people a lot. Terstegge: “Finally, because of the GDPR, you still have to offer appropriate guarantees for the privacy of the employee and leave the registration, for example, to the company doctor who has a medical professional secrecy.”

It is not yet clear which solution will be chosen for vaccination registration. Minister De Jonge will soon meet again with the various healthcare sectors and trade unions to discuss the options.

Cabinet wants vaccination registration in healthcare, but unclear how, what and when
Source link Cabinet wants vaccination registration in healthcare, but unclear how, what and when

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