Direction to ensure health care workers vaccinated

10 Sep 2021

Kathrine Morgan-Wicks, State Health Commander

A new public health direction issued today will help protect the State’s most vulnerable from a potential COVID-19 outbreak.

The Government is requiring all workers in health care settings and workers who provide health and medical services and treatments in both public and private health care settings to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

These people will need to have received a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine or to have provided evidence of a booking or exemption by 31 October 2021.

All workers in health care settings required to get the COVID-19 vaccine include the following as per the definition proposed by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC):

  • Public health settings including public hospitals, public health clinics, ambulance services, patient transport services, and other health services managed by a jurisdiction.
  • Private health facilities, being a private hospital or day procedure centre, or specialist outpatient services.
  • Private provider facilities, such as general practitioners, private nurse offices and consulting offices.
  • Education settings in which health care students are managed to undertake placement, registration, and/or internships in clinical settings - for example UTAS and TasTAFE

Certain persons providing health and medical services and treatments outside of these settings will also be required to be vaccinated in order to continue to provide these services. These include persons registered under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law and particular allied health professionals. A full list of these can be found at Health Care Settings | Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

All Tasmanian Department of Health employees and contractors will also be required to be vaccinated.

This is a critical step to ensuring the protection of our entire health workforce and to protect vulnerable Tasmanians in their care.

I recognise that this is a significant step for the Government to have taken and I would particularly like to thank the unions HACSU, ANMF and CPSU as well as the AMA, Primary Health Tasmania, the Pharmacy Guild and Pharmacy Society for their input during a series of positive meetings held this week.

We will continue to engage with them through the implementation phase as their involvement and support will be very important to ensure all health care workers understand what is happening and what is required of them.

And we will continue to work with any of our employees who currently are not vaccinated to provide them with additional information to assist in their decision-making and to discuss employment options with them individually should they choose not to do so.

Of course, exemptions to the requirement will apply, such as those unable to be vaccinated due to medical conditions.

However, we expect all of our staff who are able to be vaccinated to have done so by 31 October or to have started the vaccination process in line with the new public health direction.

Vaccinating Tasmania’s health workforce will put us in the best position to support the Tasmanian community during this ongoing health emergency.

The new direction also reaffirms that from 17 September, aged care workers and workers in quarantine facilities must have received at least one dose of vaccine and made a booking for their second doses or have made a booking to receive their first dose and provided evidence of the booking to the operator of the facility where they are employed.