Provincial Influenza Prevention Policy Changes – What Does This Mean?

The Provincial Influenza Prevention Policy, which requires all medical staff and healthcare providers to either be immunized or wear a mask when caring for patients during flu season or face disciplinary action, has recently undergone change. In December 2019, the Health Employers Association of BC has announced that in favour of moving towards a collaborative approach, the disciplinary aspect of the policy will be suspended.

What does this mean for residents?

Residents will still be required to report their status of vaccination, and failure to do so may result in disciplinary action. Policies regarding outbreaks and protocols continue to remain in effect. Resident Doctors of BC also continues to promote and advocate the importance of vaccination.

The Provincial Influenza Prevention Policy

Influenza has been noted to cause the most deaths among vaccine-preventable diseases, and Canada sees approximately 3,500 deaths each year due to the flu and its complications. Patients in health care facilities, as well as the elderly in care, are usually the most vulnerable populations. The Provincial Influenza Prevention Policy was introduced in 2012 to assist in reducing the spread of the flu and its effects in publicly-funded facilities.

For more information, be sure to visit your health authority’s revised policy documents and information on their websites.

author: Sasha Zalyvadna