Anti-vaxx deregistered doctor Jonie Girouard slapped with $300 fine by Ministry of Health

Now-deregistered Canterbury doctor Jonie Girouard, filmed issuing medical certificates as COVID-19 vaccine exemptions last year, is being fined $300 by the Ministry of Health.

"Specifically, it was for an unvaccinated affected person (a health practitioner) providing health services in-person," a Ministry of Health spokesperson tells Newshub.

"The offending occurred on December 2. At the time, the infringement fee was set at $300.

"It is critical for staff working in the health and disability sector to be vaccinated because they are caring for people who are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19," the spokesperson said.

The Medical Council confirmed on Monday Dr Girouard can no longer practise in New Zealand, after Newshub last month revealed she'd been seeing patients face-to-face, carrying out minimal checks like a simple blood pressure test - then writing them vaccine exemptions. The undercover operation recorded Dr Girouard, from a weight loss clinic in north Canterbury, telling patients the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine was "horrible, horrible medicine".

This vaccine is proven to make people less likely they'll be infected and dozens of times less likely people will become seriously ill or die.

In the video, Dr Girouard also boasted about one of her certificates breaching international border control.

Announcing the $300 fine on Thursday, the ministry reiterated unvaccinated health and disability workers can only operate remotely.

Fines for such offences have since increased to $4000, the health ministry spokesperson added.

"The ministry had previously declined a request for a temporary significant service disruption exemption for Dr Girouard to still practise while unvaccinated.

"It is a breach of the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Order 2021 for a GP to see patients in person without being vaccinated unless they have a valid exemption."

WorkSafe and the Health and Disability Commissioner also launched investigations into Dr Girouard last month. The New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA), which represents doctors, also took action - laying a complaint with the police.

At the time, NZMA chair Alistair Humphrey said Dr Girouard needed to be stopped.

"There is a risk there that this doctor will issue more of these certificates, that puts us all at risk," Dr Humphrey said.

Responding to the revelations last month, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said New Zealanders would be "disappointed and upset to see a health professional undertaking activity that puts others at risk", while Opposition leader Chris Luxon described it as "disgraceful... crazy and nuts".

Dr Girouard had been practising as a GP in New Zealand since 2015.