I would like to anonymously, for now, add my voice to a larger voice regarding my concern around medical confidentiality within the DHB. I”m a physician with 30 years of experience, a psychiatrist working in a South Island DHB for the past three and half years after immigrating to NZ.
I am writing concerned about my own and others’ health information privacy in my workplace.
1. Almost daily I am asked, as I overhear others being asked, in shared work areas about when I am getting or got the “vaccine”. I have simply been responding “not yet” as any other response appears to raise eyebrows.
2. Yesterday I was in my office’s admin area and noticed an entire sheet of laminated “vaccine cards” which I photographed front and back for my own personal documentation. Our chief admin helper had sent an email to the entire office offering lamination of vaccine cards.I mentioned to the admin upon seeing the laminated cards that probably this shouldn’t be here as this is people’s confidential medical information and would she put it someplace out of plain sight so all wandering through the area wouldn’t be noticing it, please? In response, she sequestered the laminated cards and then asked me if I had my own card as it was not on the laminated sheet.
3. Availability of vaccines was announced in our morning meeting a few weeks ago. It was not announced that the vaccine was not mandatory and confidentiality and privacy would be maintained and supported in the workplace around anyone’s medical care. A colleague did mention soto voce after the morning meeting announcement that the vaccine was not mandatory and no further discussion occurred but I was left with the distinct impression I was not the only person wary of this. Later in the day a nurse mentioned she didn’t know anyone who’d had the vaccine and was anxious about getting it. Privacy around the vaccine is floridly missing in our office — see #!.
4. Many persons in my office of 35 people have had to leave work due to side effects of the vaccine and it seems almost all of them have publicly recited their unpleasant side effects to the vaccine that interfere with their usual top functioning but perhaps don’t reach the level of disabling them from working. I mention this only because it is not reasonable to expect persons who chose to be vaccinated to be censured regarding talking about support for their side effects but it is unreasonable for persons to expect others to be sharing their vaccination status in response to direct inquiries when this is brought up. Also– I ask myself why aren’t people directed to discuss their side effects with appropriate medical personnel for tracking as the symptoms are hardly subtle and do interfere with top performance enough to be complained about.
5. There appears to be only one correct answer to the question about the vaccine in the workplace which is being asked and that is Yes, I’ve had it and/ or my appointment for the vaccine is on…
6. I have a casual group composed of many physicians and allied health professionals who I spend time with on a regular basis. When the topic of The Vaccine comes up there is a strong attitude expressed that anyone who is not vaccinated is in effect choosing to spread COVID 19 to others and even cause death. I am not exagerrating.The data is clear and loud that vaccination does not by any scientific evidence stop the spread of COVID. I am being exposed to health professionals promulgating misinformation with an attitude of ire towards the population who is delaying or not intending to get the vaccine.
Is This NZ Based or Overseas? : NZ