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Recent Suspensions Of The Practicing Certificates For Conduct Relating To Covid-19

The Chair of Te Kaunihera Rata o Aotearoa | The Medical Council of New Zealand, Dr Curtis Walker, reinforced today that public health and safety remains the top priority for Council. His statement follows the recent interim suspension of the practising certificates of three doctors, Dr Peter Canaday, Dr Emanuel Garcia, and Dr Matthew Shelton, pending investigations for conduct relating to Covid-19 (section 69 HPCAA 2003).

Dr Walker, said ‘The Medical Council takes these matters very seriously, and steps in as early as possible when a notification is made, or information comes to light, to put in place any necessary arrangements if it considers that the doctor poses a risk of harm to the public, or if an interim measure is appropriate pending an investigation.’

The three doctors who are currently under interim suspension have appealed the Council’s decisions to the District Court, and the appeals are currently scheduled to be heard in February.

‘Council’s concern is demonstrated by the publication of our recent guidance(alongside the Dental and Paramedic Councils) 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. Council expects doctors to be aware of, and comply with, its published standards of clinical and ethical practice. It is open to Council to investigate questions around a doctor’s conduct or the safety of their practise including their compliance with its standards.’

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‘If a doctor is under investigation and Council has reasonable doubts regarding the appropriateness of their professional conduct, such as not complying with the standards set by Council, in appropriate cases options to Council include suspension or placing conditions on a doctor’s practice.

Members of the public can search the Medical Council’s register to find out whether a doctor is currently registered, as well as if a Doctor has been suspended and other public information.

The Medical Council thanks the thousands of doctors who are contributing to New Zealand's pandemic response.

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