SA Health data reveals hundreds of employees forced to take leave due to refusal of COVID-19 vaccination

Nearly 400 South Australian health workers have been forced to take leave after refusing to be vaccinated against COVID-19, according to figures released by SA Health.

Late Tuesday, SA Health responded to ABC’s repeated requests that the total number of unvaccinated staff across its healthcare network be delivered.

SA Health has registered that 391 of its employees refuse to be vaccinated – 263 employees in its local health networks in big cities and 128 across its regional departments.

The highest number of unvaccinated employees has been registered at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital, where 125 refused to get the plug.

Just over 100 staff under the umbrella of the Central Adelaide Local Health Network, which includes the Royal Adelaide Hospital and Queen Elizabeth Hospital, have refused to be vaccinated.

53 employees of the Barossa Hills Fleurieu Local Health Network are unvaccinated and 39 health workers in the Riverland Mallee Coorong region refused to take the plunge.

Local health network

Staff who have reported vaccine rejection

Central Adelaide

107

Northern Adelaide

7

Southern Adelaide

24

Women and children

125

Barossa Hills Fleurieu

53

Flinders and Upper North

6

Limestone coast

0

Yorke and Northern

15

Riverland Mallee Coorong

39

Eyre and Far North

15

Earlier today, Lindsay Gough, CEO of the Women’s and Children’s Hospital, said 133 of her staff had not been vaccinated.

Mrs Gough said staff worked in a number of roles and some were on maternity leave.

“I’m not aware of any doctors who have rejected vaccines, but as I say, it is not across any particular area,” she said.

“We’re not having trouble manning areas because it’s spread pretty much all over the network.”

A close-up of a woman with short blonde hair wearing a white buttoned shirt and a black jacket
SASMOA’s Industry Manager Bernadette Mulholland is concerned about the impact that staff removal will have on the provision of services. (ABC News)

Senior Industry Director Bernadette Mulholland of the South Australian Salaried Medical Officers Association said the removal of 133 staff from the Women’s and Children’s Hospital would have a significant impact.

“Surely of all the hospital services, Women and Children are the least able to pay a loss of 130 employees.” she said.

“Every service within that hospital is small but specialized. They have very limited staff, and in a number of these services they are actually understaffed.

“It would be very difficult to see how it does not have a significant impact on day-to-day operations.”

SA Health’s mandatory vaccination direction came into effect yesterday, where all healthcare professionals must have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and show proof of a reservation to get their second dose.

Health Minister Stephen Wade said none of the local health networks experienced any problems with the provision of clinical services as a result of the mandate coming into force.

“Both the Northern Adelaide Local Health Network and Flinders and Upper North are about 99 percent,” he said.

“In relation to the other networks, I think it is important to appreciate that a number of the networks [are] including the number of people currently on maternity leave and other types of leave.

“They are not expected to be vaccinated until they return, so we are very encouraged by the progress so far.”

The mandate prompted a number of health professionals to demonstrate against mandatory vaccination in CBD earlier today.

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