Anti-vax doc can no longer practise medicine in NZ

Jonie Girouard
Jonie Girouard
The North Canterbury doctor under investigation for allegedly issuing fake vaccine exemptions can no longer practise medicine in New Zealand.

Dr Jonie Girouard - who runs a weight loss clinic - is an unvaccinated GP who was captured in an undercover Newshub sting late last year issuing fake certificates and coaching patients on how to get away with using them.

In the recordings, she openly discussed her view on the Covid-19 vaccine - calling it a horrible medicine.

Her anti-vax actions were the subject of a police investigation after a complaint from the New Zealand Medical Association.

It is understood that investigation is ongoing.

However, today the Medical Council confirmed Girouard cannot practise medicine at all in New Zealand.

"Council can confirm that Jonie Girouard is no longer listed as registered and able to practise in New Zealand," said council chairman Dr Curtis Walker.

"Council takes these matters very seriously and our concern is demonstrated by the publication of our recent guidance emphasising Council's view that there is no place for anti-vaccination messages in professional practice, nor any promotion of anti-vaccination claims including on social media and advertising by health practitioners.

"The Council steps in as early as possible when a notification is made, or information comes to light to put in place any necessary arrangements to make sure patients are kept safe."

Walker could not comment on how many other doctors had been deregistered as a result of their vaccine stance.

"We can confirm that Council has received a number of notifications nationwide that relate to matters about the Covid-19 vaccination and spreading misinformation," Walker told the New Zealand Herald.

"Council must follow the principles of natural justice when considering any notification about a doctor.

"In addition, privacy considerations limit any further comment on individual cases."

In the undercover Newshub expose the doctor boasted of using the certificate to get an exemption to keep working saying it was easy, as her husband was her employer.

Dr Jonie Girouard. Image: Newshub
In the undercover Newshub expose the doctor boasted of using the certificate to get an exemption to keep working saying it was easy, as her husband was her employer. Image: Newshub

Her husband Michael, a director of the Girouard Centre, is also under investigation.

Anaesthesiologist-turned-weight loss expert Michael Girouard shares a similar anti-vax stance as his wife, appearing recently on a social media conspiracy site talking about his unvaccinated status before raising issues about the vaccine's safety.

Michael Girouard is not registered to practise in New Zealand as a medical doctor and the couple's Girouard Centre weight management and wellness website states that he isn't registered to work in New Zealand as a GP.

However, the Girouard Centre website says Michael Girouard is available for non-medical appointments at their Canterbury clinic.

In October Michael Girouard took part in an anti-vaccination online symposium and spoke for 45 minutes about complications connected with the vaccine.

He said he had not taken the vaccine, his stance guided by his pledge as a doctor to "do no harm".

The Ministry of Health says if a healthcare worker is unvaccinated, they could continue to see patients only if they were working 100 per cent remotely in a telehealth setting.

The Herald has approached Dr Michael Girouard and Dr Jonie Girouard for comment. They have yet to respond to requests.

When a reporter paid the couple a visit at their home in Sefton, North Canterbury, on Thursday, Michael Girouard threatened to call the police.

 

 

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