Geraldton GP not COVID vaccinated, withdraws from residential aged care

Phoebe PinGeraldton Guardian
Nazareth House
Camera IconNazareth House

A Geraldton aged care centre has been forced to find alternative care arrangements for the patients of a doctor who has not received his COVID-19 jab.

Nazareth House facility manager Mia Jebi this week confirmed one doctor who regularly visited the residential care centre had stopped seeing patients as he had not been vaccinated. It was not known why the doctor had not had the jab, or if he planned to get vaccinated in the future.

This came after mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for residential aged care workers took effect last month.

Nazareth House has three on-site GPs, with several other doctors from local clinics also caring for residents.

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Ms Jebi said the doctor’s patients would now be cared for by Panaceum GPs.

Panaceum Group director Ian Taylor said it was the “choice of the doctor concerned for his own personal reasons” not to have the jab, and patient care would not be disrupted.

“Arrangements have been made with other doctors who visit (Nazareth House) to ensure continuity of affected residents’ care,” he said.

Rural Doctors Association of Australia chief executive Peta Rutherford said a “very small number” of Australian GPs had indicated they were not vaccinated, with some unable to get the jab because of “health reasons”.

However, she said it was “disappointing” some GPs were choosing not to get vaccinated when there was no medical reason for them to abstain.

“GPs will have a big role to play in the ongoing care of COVID patients in communities,” she said.

“We need to make sure our healthcare professionals are protecting themselves and their patients.”

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