Kamloops nurse worried vaccine protest at hospital will bring disruptions | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops nurse worried vaccine protest at hospital will bring disruptions

Royal Inland Hospital.

A protest slated to take place in front of hospitals in Kamloops and Kelowna is going to take place on Sept. 1, and a Kamloops nurse is worried about disruptions to the hospital.

A group called "Canadian Frontline Nurses" is advertising protests against vaccine mandates, which are slated to take place at Kelowna General Hospital, Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops, and other cities across the country.

A Royal Inland Hospital nurse, who iNFOnews.ca has granted anonymity because of a high likelihood they'll face repercussions from their employer, took no issue with the protest itself, but has concerns about it taking place in front of a hospital.

"I don't think they should be doing it anywhere near the hospital because that gets in our way to help people and do our jobs," they said. "It's anxiety-provoking to have that many people around the hospital."

The B.C. government recently announced that a COVID-19 vaccine card system will be coming to the province, which will restrict access to certain events and services unless they have at least one dose by Sept. 13, then a second dose by Oct. 24.

READ MORE: B.C. hasn’t seen COVID-19 case counts this high since April

The event posters label the vaccine mandates as "tyranny," but Vancouver-based lawyer, Kyla Lee has said that current rules in B.C. are a long way from imposing on charter rights. This is because the services that are restricted for the unvaccinated will be services and events that are not essential.

The Royal Inland Hospital nurses added that the stresses at the hospital are already at an all-time high with around twenty nursing staff in the ER walking off the job at Royal Inland Hospital in recent weeks. They said some are seeking work in other health authorities, while others are leaving the profession entirely.

"If a fourth wave hits while the wildfires are still going, our hospital is screwed," they said.

They noted that protests are meant to be disruptive, but while hospitals are working to maintain staffing amid wildfires, COVID and an ongoing opioid crisis, that's a disruption that places undue pressure on healthcare staff.

The B.C. Nurses Union has refused to comment on the protests and requests to Interior Health from iNFOnews.ca have not been answered.

READ MORE: Premier Horgan wants wildfire prevention modelled after Logan Lake's success story

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