Surgical mask

Saskatchewan is moving to require nurses to get flu shots or wear masks when dealing with patients. (iStock)

Saskatchewan nurses, doctors and other health staff will be required to get flu shots or wear masks during flu season, the provincial government announced Wednesday.

Currently, only about 50 per cent of health care staff and physicians get their annual flu shots, the government said in a news release.

Now, they'll all have to follow the "shot-or-mask" policy.

The move, which goes into effect this fall, follows a recommendation by Saskatchewan's medical health officers. 

Nurses, doctors and other staff who do not get immunized will be required to wear a mask while delivering care and services to patients. 

Saskatchewan will be the second province after B.C. to introduce a province-wide policy, the government said.

Some hospitals in Ontario have moved to force nurses to get shots or wear masks, but unions have fought the policy, saying its a violation of the personal rights of nurses, as well as a violation of their collective agreements.