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(LifeSiteNews) — More than 600 doctors in Quebec could face being suspended without pay starting October 15 if they haven’t received both doses of a COVID vaccine by then. 

In a statement published September 29, The Collège des Médecins du Québec (CMQ), the professional order of physicians in Quebec, informed members that, in accordance with a recent decree from the government mandating vaccination for all healthcare professionals, those who have not been fully vaccinated as of October 15 will see their rights to exercise their profession suspended without compensation. The CMQ called on all unvaccinated physicians to “regularize their situation” as soon as possible. 

The statement started with a comment that “the Collège des Médecins considers vaccination a moral duty and a social obligation,” and continued by saying vaccination “is a scientifically proven way of protecting the whole population.”

It then referred to data from Quebec’s National Institute of Public Health that indicate 97% of doctors in Quebec have already received both doses of the COVID vaccine but that nearly 3% are not adequately “protected” for “a variety of reasons.”

The CMQ recalled that the Collège is required by governmental decree to identify all physicians and residents who have not yet been adequately vaccinated and that, as a consequence, their right to exercise their profession will be suspended until becoming vaccinated.

According to data published by the CMQ, there are approximately 22,3oo registered doctors in Quebec. If 3% of them remain unvaccinated until October 15, it could mean than more than 600 suspensions.

That could include doctors who have already received their first dose of a COVID vaccine but not the second one, as there appears to be no leeway for delays, even for doctors who have already taken steps to be fully vaccinated.

The statement makes clear that even those who received their first dose on the date of the statement’s publication (September 29) will not be able to receive their second dose before the October 15 deadline because of a minimum 21-day delay between the doses.

“These doctors will then be subjected to the decree and will be suspended,” the CMQ stated.

The statement also mentioned that medical exemptions do apply but warned doctors against attempting to deliver false medical attestations to patients or colleagues.

“Our professional code stresses that a doctor may in no circumstance or pretext deliver a prescription if it is not medically necessary,” according to the statement.

The suspension will also apply to unvaccinated doctors who had hoped to be able to keep working by avoiding contact with patients by, for instance, practicing telemedicine or working in labs.

Doctors will not need to provide proof of vaccination to the CMQ. Quebec’s Ministry of Health and Social Services is already in possession of all data concerning vaccinated and unvaccinated doctors and will provide it to the CMQ.

The CMQ concluded its statement by calling on all members to get vaccinated.

“We can only appeal to you once again and ask you to get vaccinated to protect yourself and your colleagues and to behave responsibly towards your patients,” it said.

Those who will be suspended are still being asked to manage their patients’ files “until [their] suspension is lifted.”

“It is your professional responsibility,” stressed the CMQ while neglecting to mention that suspended doctors will not receive any pay.