Covid-19 Delta outbreak: Fake vax exemption doctor Dr Jonie Girouard reopens North Canterbury clinic

The North Canterbury doctor under investigation for allegedly giving out fake vaccine exemptions has reopened her doors to patients.

And she has now employed a security guard to keep unwanted visitors out of her Kaiapoi office.

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

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

Her subversive anti-vax actions are the subject of a number of investigations with police confirming they had received a formal complaint from the New Zealand Medical Association.

The Medical Council has begun gathering information “with urgency”. It followed the Ministry of Health rejecting the American physician’s application for a Temporary Significant Service Disruption Exemption within 24 hours of the covert news clip going to air to enable her to treat patients in person without being vaccinated.

Last week health authorities confirmed the weight loss clinic director’s actions were being examined in relation to the incident.

In the undercover 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.

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.

Their clinic appears to be operating as normal today – with the addition of a security guard positioned outside.

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.

Under his biography it states he works two days a week and people can book to see him.

“Dr. G is not registered to practice [sic] medicine in New Zealand and is unable to give medical advice. His personal and professional experience is irreplaceable as a team leader and director.”

A cached image of the now password-protected page on the couple’s New Zealand website shows people can make personal appointments at the Kaiapoi clinic with the staunch anti-vaxxer.

However, a Ministry of Health spokesperson said it was critical for staff working in the health and disability sector to be vaccinated because they were caring for people who were at increased risk of severe illness from Covid-19.

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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