The nurse and midwives' union is urging the Health Department to consider redeploying staff into contact tracing, telehealth or other work-from-home roles should they refuse to be vaccinated, instead of sacking them.
Health Department secretary Kathrine Morgan-Wicks initially said healthcare workers who refuse vaccination by October 31 without a medical reason to do so - believed to only include anaphylaxis - could be redeployed, and case management would occur.
But the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation's Tasmania branch has been told this will no longer occur, and the only case management offered was two weeks' leave to receive counselling on the need for vaccination.
ANMF Tasmania secretary Emily Shepherd said that while they strongly urged all eligible staff to get vaccinated, there remained concern among some. She said the health system could not afford to lose any nurses or midwives.
"There's been a whole raft of situations raised with us that requires consideration of individual circumstances," Ms Shepherd said.
"But there is no plan come October 31 in the event we do have nurses and midwives resign. It puts service continuity at further risk.
"Given that the directive includes any health premises, there are roles that could potentially be undertaken in a working-from-home capacity, or a separate buildings. That could include contact tracing, telehealth.
"There must be an assessment of those with transferrable skills."
On Friday, Ms Morgan-Wicks said she did not believe the number of nurses who would leave the system to number into the hundreds.
Over 80 per cent of healthcare workers are already fully vaccinated, given they were among the first cohorts to have access to a vaccine.
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A Launceston General Hospital anesthetist wrote to lower house MPs last week to voice his concerns about the mandatory vaccine policy, but another Launceston anesthetist - Dr Christopher Reid - said this was not the majority view.
"Mandatory vaccination is one way to make sure that the hospital system is safe for both workers and patients," he said.
The government did not respond to a query regarding whether redeployment was no longer an option, if staff could take on other roles or if there was a plan to replace staff, but said its decisions were "informed by public health advice".
"We will continue to work with staff and health organisations in the coming weeks to ensure there is a clear understanding of the safety of the vaccines, the vaccine choices that people now have and especially the public health advice behind the decision to make vaccinations mandatory in the health sector," a spokesperson said.
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