Sunday, November 28

Patient advocate wants to fire anti-vax psychiatrist DHB

A Wellington psychiatrist has promoted anti-vax views in various videos online and is still at work, five months after his first video was released.

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A patient advocate says it is important for all medical professionals to support their patients during the vaccination process.
Photo: AFP

The president of a Lower Hutt mental health support service said the Hutt Valley District Health Board (DHB) employee has to go.

In the videos, consulting psychiatrist Dr. Emanuel Garcia said he was “deeply concerned” about the launch of the Pfizer vaccine.

“I will be very clear and direct about this, I will not take these vaccines for many good reasons. As a doctor, as a psychiatrist, as a citizen, I will not take this vaccine.”

It works with a particularly vulnerable population.

Investigate published in the New Zealand Medical Journal in July, it said that people with mental health problems could be up to twice as likely to die from Covid-19, and people with psychosis and schizophrenia specifically were up to four times more likely.

In a statement, Hutt Valley Mental Health and Addiction Executive Director Karla Bergquist said DHB does not support promoting anti-vaccination messages.

“The comments made by Dr. Garcia do not reflect the views of DHB and were expressly made in a personal capacity.

“All employees are required to act impartially in the context of their employment and to ensure that their personal beliefs do not affect their work.”

But Lower Hutt Mental Health Advocacy and Support Service President Cecilia Henderson told RNZ: “Frankly, I don’t think you should be at your job.

“You need to have faith in your psychiatrist and say ‘yes, you can do this.’

She has lived with a mental illness for decades and was eager to get her doses from Pfizer, but the support of medical experts and peers helped her get vaccinated.

“There was a feeling of nervousness, but once I found out that my friend had it, I was able to get it. She takes the same medication as me, so I thought, ‘Well, if she can do it, I can do it.'”

General Practitioners New Zealand President Dr. Jeff Lowe wrote to all primary health organizations in the country this week, asking them to report on anti-vax health physicians to the Medical Council.

He said that people with mental health problems were particularly susceptible to misinformation about vaccines.

“If people deviate beyond the evidence base, and we have good evidence of what is happening in New Zealand and abroad, then one could be seriously compromising our duty of care that we owe to all of our patients. Someone who acts out of that, I think you really have to question it. “

The Medical Council has received at least 23 complaints about anti-Covid-19 vaccine doctors, and the Health and Disability Commissioner has received 35 complaints about 11 health providers who disseminate anti-Covid-19 vaccine information, eight of whom are doctors. .

Dr. Garcia declined to comment to RNZ about his remarks, or what the newly announced vaccination mandate meant to him.

On Monday, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins announced that the cabinet has moved to order the vaccination of high-risk workers in the health and disability sector by the earlier date of December 1, 2021.

Those high-risk workers include general practitioners, pharmacists, community health nurses, midwives, paramedics, and all health workers at sites where vulnerable patients are treated.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists of Australia and New Zealand was not available to comment on Dr Garcia’s views.

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