Tuesday, May 9, 2006

Spreading disease, the statist way

Unlike doctors, health care workers in Canada have not yet been threatened with conscription should the feared flu pandemic occur, but workers, particularly those working in long-term care facilities, may be forced to put the health and welfare of themselves and their families at risk if recommendations put forward at the Community and Hospital Infection Control Association national conference are adopted during "emergency" situations.

Rights and morality tossed into the sewer, in times of 'peace' and in times of 'trouble' - the vampires require blood no matter the season:
Long-term care facilities may have to throw out the rule book during a severe flu pandemic, including policies that sick employees stay home, those attending a London conference were told yesterday.

"We may get to the point where we may be asking people to work even if they are mildly ill," said Dr. Mary Vearncombe, an epidemiologist at the Sunnybrook/ Women's College Health Sciences Centre in Toronto.

"We will need to have every warm body that is standing up to work," she said.

Vearncombe told a packed session of the national conference of infection control professionals that long-term care facilities can expect high levels of staff absenteeism during a flu pandemic.

Not only will health-care workers be hit with the flu at the same rate as the general population, but it is expected they will be under pressure to stay home and take care of sick family members.

"I suggest (we) start talking to staff now about the health- care worker being the essential worker in the family. If mom is a nurse and dad works in business and the kids get sick, maybe dad should stay home for a change," she said.
Maybe mom's a firefighter, while dad is a nurse. Dad might be a social activist! Perhaps both mom and dad work at a long-term care facility. Whose interests are to be served and how are "we" to determine who holds the most "essential" job?
In a severe staff shortage situation, where ill staff are used, the sick workers will help with patients that already have the flu, she said.

Long-term care facilities are expected to ask part-time workers to go full-time during a pandemic, but such staff often work at more than one facility.

"We are all going to be in competition with each other.

[..] Vearncombe also recommended facilities keep an up-to-date list of recent retirees who could be called in to help and "Non-essential leaves should be cancelled."
A monopoly cannot properly be said to compete with itself.


The Mayor said...

I can see that you have unresolved issues concerning The Wisdom of A Strong Central Government.

Fenris Badwulf

Pietr said...

'Non-essential leaves should be cancelled'.
I thought that was called 'Fall'?