By Dee DeQuattro, WPRO News
Healthcare worker unions have filed a federal lawsuit to block the Rhode Island Department of Health from enforcing new regulations requiring workers to either get a flu shot or wear surgical masks when they come in contact with patients.
If healthcare workers refuse to get a vaccination or wear a surgical masks Fine tells the WPRO Morning News with Tara Granahan and Andrew Gobeil, “they can be reported to their relative board of licenser and discipline and they are subject to a $100 a day fine.”
On Thursday Fine issued a warning that the flu is now widespread and Rhode Island and this year’s strain is particularly strong resulting in increased hospitalizations. He made the case for that reason it is the responsibility of healthcare workers take preventative measures to stop flu transmission.
“They are not forced to do anything. They are not forced to be healthcare workers. But it is their professional responsibility to do one thing or the other. Just like it is their professional responsibility to carry a stethoscope or to use a thermometer when they have to take a patients temperature,” said Fine.
Union members are upset by the new regulations and filed suit on Thursday in Federal Court to block the surgical mask requirement.
Health & Wellness
News & Tips for staying fit in the Ocean State
Free, local print & mobile savings
Go Green RI
News & Tips for sustainable living in Rhode Island
RI Pet Center
News & Features especially for animal lovers