Canterbury doctor Jonie Girouard deregistered for giving out medical certificates as COVID-19 vaccine exemptions

The Medical Council has confirmed Jonie Girouard, the Canterbury GP Newshub filmed issuing COVID-19 vaccine medical certificate exemptions to anti-vaxxers, can no longer practise in New Zealand.

"Dr Girouard is no longer registered, therefore is unable to practise medicine in New Zealand," Medical Council chair Curtis Walker says.

"Council can also confirm that we have received a number of notifications that relate to matters of potential misinformation and vaccination against COVID-19. Council must follow the principles of natural justice when considering any notification about a doctor," Dr Walker tells Newshub.

"In addition, privacy considerations limit any further comment on individual cases."

Newshub last month revealed Dr Girouard had 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.

Dr Walker said on Monday the Medical Council takes such matters extremely seriously.

"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. The council steps in as early as possible when a notification is made, or information comes to light to put in place any necessary arrangements to make sure patients are kept safe. 

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

WorkSafe, the Ministry of Health and the Health and Disability Commissioner all 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.