In a recent bulletin from your Component President and Health and Safety Committee (see link here) https://mailchi.mp/f4eae6b2f520/coronavirus-update-25-327701?e=5318069517 we requested stories from you about your experiences with being denied health, dental, medical and other basic services due to your profession and/or having travelled in the previous 14 days. We received timely and well written responses from many of you. We reviewed all of this feedback and had a lengthy conversation with the Public Health Agency of Canada and a quarantine officer from the Government of Canada.
They listened to our concerns and real-life examples and also understood how difficult this has been for so many of our members. You have taken on the important and very challenging role as an essential services worker yet at the same time are having a stigma attached to your profession. PHAC took away two important tasks from our call:
- We discussed the 3-digit exemption code for the ArriveCan app, and if more needs to be done to raise awareness about this new process both amongst aircrew but also CBSA officers. They will follow up with the quarantine office to see if there is something that can be done to alleviate the problem of nuisance emails and calls when you return home from work outside the country.
- One idea discussed on the call is that guidance be issued by the PHAC to the various professional associations that oversee disciplines such as dentistry, physiotherapy etc. They will explore internally within the PHAC what can be done to ensure that our members aren’t denied essential services – particularly at acute care centres like hospitals as a starting point.
Following the call, we were tasked with a follow up to the membership. In this instance we are requesting your feedback and examples in which your own health care provider/health care practitioner found a solution to providing treatment for you while balancing their concerns. We believe that this may help your Union and the PHAC to find creative ways to tackle this problem.
The reality is that there are many individual workers within the Health Care sector in Canada who are simply making decisions based on their own fears and/or following guidance about exposure to those who have travelled outside of the country. We are sending a call out to find how others who treat and care for you or members of your family who have found a workaround for these concerns. If you have a story of unique and creative ways that your health care and medical practitioners have found to treat you or your family, we want to hear about it. We hope that this information can provide some insight into what can be achieved so that our members are not left to fend for themselves in these difficult times when seeking medical care.
It was agreed that we would hold a follow-up call over the coming two weeks and it would be good to show up with some constructive ideas straight from our members. Please send your experiences to firstname.lastname@example.org.