WorkSafeBC has decided that only special needles are to be used in the office as of 1 October 2008 [BCMJ 2008;50(1):16].
I have some questions that I would like answered for myself, and I am sure they apply to all GPs in BC.
1. Since GPs are not covered by WorkSafeBC then do we personally need to follow these rules? Can we continue to use the “old” needles and our staff use the new ones?
2. How much more expensive are these newer needles? If they are very expensive then are we seeking compensation through MSP? Probably it would not amount to very much for an individual office; however for a hospital it could cost them plenty.
3. Out of interest, is this rule being applied in other provinces? The US? Is this a worldwide change or strictly provincial?
4. If MDs are to follow this rule, then what are we to do with patients who come to the office with their flu shots or hepatitis vaccinations that are in an unacceptable format?
—David Hawkins, MD
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