An outspoken Tumut paramedic is standing his ground against new mandatory vaccination rules for healthcare workers.
The NSW government announced the COVID-19 vaccine will become mandatory for all healthcare workers across the state last week.
Workers will be required to have their first dose by September 30 and be fully vaccinated by November 30 - or have their appointment booked - in order to continue working.
The decision has been condemned by Tumut paramedic John Larter, who said he has no intention of getting the vaccine.
Mr Larter said making healthcare workers receive the vaccine to continue working was "disgusting".
"Nobody should be subject to a medical procedure or being drugged without their consent unless there is a very good reason," Mr Larter said.
"It goes against one of the bedrock principles of medical standards and ethics that we have relied upon since medicine has evolved ... and that is informed consent."
The paramedic said he has talked to hundreds of other healthcare workers who feel the same way.
"It's a disgrace and I think it's disgusting on so many levels," he said.
"You can't have a situation where you are going to threaten people with their careers, their livelihood and their registration as a health practitioner if they make reasonable comments about safety concerns."
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Up to 80 per cent of NSW healthcare workers have already received their first jabs.
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said this mandate would help provide greater protection for both staff and the patients they treat.
"More than 1200 healthcare workers have been in isolation each day over the past seven days and we cannot afford that right now," Mr Hazzard said.
"Vaccinations will help ensure our fantastic staff can continue to care for patients."
Mr Hazzard added that the public and private health systems have a responsibility to implement whatever measures they can to provide a safe work enviroment for their staff and patients.
The peak body representing doctors in Australia has welcomed the move and called for the whole nation to follow suit.
Australian Medical Association president Omar Khorshid said mandatory vaccines are necessary to sustain the healthcare system during such a strainful period.
"Australians must understand that we will be living with COVID-19 for a long time to come and that will inevitably involve a longer, heavier than normal reliance on our doctors, nurses, hospitals and allied health," Dr Khorshid said.
"We need to bring these workers and the environment they work in, out of crisis mode and the first step towards that is to protect them through vaccination."
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