Quebec residents who do not want to vaccinate against COVID-19 despite the lack of valid medical reasons will pay a special tax, the Prime Minister of the Canadian province, Francois Legault, announced on Tuesday. Approx. 10 percent Quebec residents are unvaccinated.
The “premium” as defined by Legault will be announced in the coming weeks and will be “a significant amount”.
The Quebec prime minister stressed that 10 percent. provincial residents, who have not yet taken even the first dose of the vaccine, may not be the cause of problems for the remaining 90 percent.
One Quebec physician, Jean Bottari, commented on Twitter that all anti-vaccines who repeatedly charge them for medical care if necessary should be aware that a day in a Quebec hospital costs approximately CAD 1500, and in the intensive care unit – CAD 4000 plus the cost of doctors’ salaries.
Quebec has previously opted for unconventional pandemic solutions. One of them is the reintroduction of a curfew between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. on New Year’s Eve for people with no good reason to be away from home. From next Tuesday, people wishing to shop at alcohol and marijuana stores will need to show their immunization certificate.
According to Tuesday’s communiqué from the provincial government, 8,710 coronavirus infections have increased during the previous 24 hours. About 8.5 million people live in Quebec, making it the second most populous province in the country after Ontario (14.5 million). In the whole of Canada with 38 million inhabitants, last week there were over 260,000. new infections. About 2.54 million of them have been identified since the beginning of the pandemic.
The website Covid19tracker.ca, which collects the current official data, said on Tuesday that in Canada, among those for whom vaccines have been approved, i.e. from the age of 5, almost 88 percent. received one dose, and 81.3 percent. are fully vaccinated.
Despite the high vaccination coverage rate, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) encouraged in a Tuesday press release, including booster doses. “Canadians across the country are not getting the help they deserve because hospitals are overburdened. Vaccines not only protect those who are vaccinated, but also entire communities and the healthcare system, ‘the CMA emphasized. Doctors also noted the continued “bombing” of Canadians with false and contradictory information about COVID-19 and the need for authorities to intervene in this matter.
In a later speech to CTV, CMA chairwoman Dr Katharine Smart said making vaccination compulsory could be a challenge, but governments will have to use all possible measures to increase pressure on the unvaccinated.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke last week of growing frustration among Canadians who “see cancer treatment being suspended and elective surgery being suspended because people who chose not to vaccinate are lying in hospital beds.” Canada’s Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said last weekend that the provinces are likely to introduce mandatory vaccination due to increasing health problems.
The Quebec government press office said at the time that the province was not yet considering immunization obligations. Nova Scotia’s chief physician Robert Strang told public broadcaster CBC that the provincial government is considering limiting the number of places unvaccinated people can access. Alberta’s Prime Minister Jason Kenney and Saskatchewan Prime Minister Scott Moe have rejected vaccination obligations.
Trudeau spoke with prime ministers of provinces and territories on Monday, but the press release did not mention the subject of compulsory immunization.
Compulsory vaccination against COVID-19 applies to federal employees, and some cities have also introduced it. From Saturday, it will start to apply to truck drivers crossing the US border.
Healthcare in Canada is free for citizens and permanent residents. It is financed from the budgets of 13 provinces and territories, with the federal government contributing the equivalent of about one fifth of the expenditure under the so-called Canada Health Transfer. According to the Canadian constitution, the health service is a provincial competence. Consequently, the vaccines are bought by the federal government, but vaccinations are organized by the provinces.
From Toronto Anna Lach (PAP)
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