Vaccination mandate in Tasmania for health workers in difficulty a few days after implementation

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More than 500 healthcare workers have filed a lawsuit in the Hobart Supreme Court to challenge the government’s vaccine mandate, which is days away from enforcement.

But before the challenge can be heard, the group seeks an injunction on the warrant, meaning it would be temporarily suspended until the outcome of the case can be determined.

A mandate requiring that all caregivers have been vaccinated at least once or have made an appointment must come into effect on Sunday, October 31.

Workers have been warned they will be sacked if they fail to comply.

They are therefore asking the court to hold an emergency hearing on Friday, October 29 to request the injunction.

Speaking in court after filing the papers, attorney Raymond Broomhall said the vaccine warrant was an “abuse of power”.

“It violates the law on state services and also violates the law on public health, according to which the director as a doctor must conform to accepted professional standards,” he said.

Earlier in October, a judge dismissed two challenges to an NSW warrant requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for workers.

Mr Broomhall said 519 healthcare workers were part of the action. Some, he said, were vaccinated but had only done so because of the warrant.

He said if their injunction request was unsuccessful, they would appeal the decision “to the High Court”.

“But unfortunately, if it is not done tomorrow, all these workers are going to be made redundant,” he said.

Mr Broomhall said they had around 250 statements from healthcare workers supporting the lawsuit.

“They are talking about workers who have been vaccinated under duress,” he said.

“[All the statements] talk about coercion and that they had no choice but to submit to the jab, some say they are afraid of having to do it before the deadline, ”he said.

The court case argues that the warrant violates public health law in that it discriminates against those who are not vaccinated.

“To discriminate against someone for the attribute of being vaccinated or not vaccinated is discrimination,” he said.

“In essence, we are saying that it is illegal to discriminate against someone because of their vaccination status.”

Documents filed with the court allege that the warrant is “against the law in that it unlawfully discriminates against the applicant and … places the applicant in an untenable position, through coercion and threats of deportation and of punishment ”.

In a statement on Wednesday, the group of healthcare workers, which dubbed itself The Tasmanian Healthcare Services and Providers group (THSP), called on the state government to “urgently rethink its illegal mandate to vaccinate against COVID-19. “.

The group said it included surgeons, specialists, general practitioners, doctors, nurses, midwives, dentists, paramedics, paramedics, psychologists, psychiatrists and others working in health facilities.

“A number of our members are so specialized that if the Tasmanian government terminated their employment on October 31, there would be no one else in the state to provide these services.”

They then describe the vaccine’s mandate as an “oppressive and brutal ultimatum.”

Surgeon David Dunn, who filed the documents, works part-time as a surgeon at Royal Hobart Hospital.

He said the warrant was a “criminal act”.

“You cannot give voluntary consent if something is mandatory, because that automatically means you are forced to sign a consent,” he said.

He said healthcare workers were extremely concerned about the impending mandate.

“A lot of them are much younger than me and have long jobs ahead of them,” he said.

“We are committed to serving the public and we want to continue to do so. In addition to the loss of income and all the things that come with it – depression and oppression.”

Mr Broomhall said it could be months before the case against the warrant is heard.

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COVID-19 boosters will start on November 8

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