An Australian healthcare recruitment firm is posting job ads on a site specifically targeted at anti-vaxxers – and medical experts say it’s putting vulnerable people at risk.
The site claims to only accept ads from employers “who will not request vaccination status or implement any form of mandatory vaccine policy”.
One advertised job is for an in-person psychologist at a “thriving boutique wellness centre” in Newcastle that boasts “a supportive culture with no requirement for having the COVID-19 vaccination”.
Other ads posted by the same recruiter are for remote positions that have been specifically created for unvaccinated workers in fields such as speech pathology and occupational therapy.
Several GP clinics have also independently posted their own job ads on the website.
These job ads go against all mainstream health recommendations and potentially, in some cases, legal requirements.
“I’m very disappointed that websites like this have been created, and particularly that healthcare jobs are being advertised,” Dr Karen Price, president of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, told The New Daily.
“This puts vulnerable people at risk.”
Some ads posted on the job board call for RACGP qualifications or knowledge of the organisation’s standards.
But Dr Price said the RACGP supports mandatory vaccination for all types of healthcare workers and not just GPs.
“This is important to protect healthcare workers who are at greater risk of contracting COVID-19 due to the nature of their work. It supports the medical profession’s duty of care and builds vaccine confidence in the community,” she said.
The body representing many of the other fields advertised on the site, Allied Health Professions Australia, also states that “all allied health practitioners should be vaccinated for their own protection, and for the protection of the healthcare, aged care and disability systems more broadly”.
Playing by the rules
Every state and territory either has existing vaccine mandates for healthcare workers, or looming deadlines for these workers to be vaccinated.
But the scope of these mandates vary from state to state, and there are circumstances in which unvaccinated healthcare professionals can work in private clinics.
The director of the recruitment firm behind many of the ads, which The New Daily has chosen not to name, claimed they are being “completely engulfed” with roughly 200 phone calls per day from “destitute and desperate” healthcare professionals.
Allegedly among them are senior hospital staff who don’t want to get vaccinated, the recruitment firm director said.
A channel on the messaging app Telegram, which is a favourite of anti-vaxxers, broadcasts these job ads to more than 7000 subscribers.
But unvaccinated adults are very much in the minority, despite the recruiter’s claims.
More than 90 per cent of Australians aged 16 and up have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and the double-dose figure is even higher in New South Wales and the ACT.