11 Oct 2021

Appeal to PHOs to share details of any anti-vax doctors

5:51 pm on 11 October 2021

Advocacy group General Practice New Zealand has written to Primary Health Organisations (PHO) this afternoon, calling for more anti-vax doctors to be reported.

A nurse holds a vial of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against Covid-19.

A nurse holds a vial of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against Covid-19. Photo: AFP or licensors

Chair Dr Jeff Lowe has sent a letter to chief executives of PHOs across the country, telling them to notify the Medical Council "of any circumstances where clinicians in their networks seek to undermine vaccination efforts or promote 'anti-vax' information".

Last week, RNZ reported there were two anti-vax GP clinics in Northland alone, which is now in lockdown due to a positive Covid-19 travelling around the region.

The Medical Council has received at least 23 complaints about doctors spreading vaccine misinformation.

In addition, at least 34 complaints have been made to the Health and Disability Commissioner about 10 health providers spreading anti-vax information.

Seven of these providers are doctors.

Dr Lowe, a GP in Karori, said in a statement: "GPNZ wholly endorses Covid-19 vaccination for all eligible people.

"We will continue to do everything possible to support our member PHOs, the general practices they support, and all our colleagues across the health system to promote vaccine uptake.

"It is the duty of health providers to protect our population," he said.

General Practice New Zealand represents the majority of New Zealand practices and covers an enrolled population of more than 4.4 million people.

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