Montreal medical clinic refused to see patient who was not fully vaccinated, woman says

·2 min read
Montreal medical clinic refused to see patient who was not fully vaccinated, woman says
Nadine Chery, a resident of Repentigny, Que., was refused medical care because of her vaccination status, her daughter says. (Submitted by Frantzna Wadestrandt - image credit)
Nadine Chery, a resident of Repentigny, Que., was refused medical care because of her vaccination status, her daughter says. (Submitted by Frantzna Wadestrandt - image credit)

A Montreal-area woman says she's filed a complaint with Quebec's College of Physicians after a medical clinic refused to treat her mother for a condition unrelated to COVID-19 because she is not fully vaccinated.

Frantzna Wadestrandt says her mother's health condition requires her to get treatment every six months, but when she drove from her home in Repentigny to her family doctor's clinic in Montreal's east end last month, she was turned away.

She was told not to come back until she is fully vaccinated, Wadestrandt said. Currently, her mother has had only one vaccine dose.

"You know, people have a right to see their doctors," Wadestrandt said.

Quebec's vaccine passport system applies only to non-essential services such as gyms and restaurants.

However, all front-line clinics must see patients in person, whether they are adequately vaccinated or not, because health care is an essential service, according to Quebec's Health Ministry.

The ministry said in a statement that it works with the province's general practitioners federation to support clinics in providing care to patients during the pandemic.

Wadestrandt says she couldn't believe her mother was turned away and decided to call the Clinique Médicale L'Espérance on Zoom and record the conversation.

In that call, she asks if she can see a doctor even though she isn't fully vaccinated. The secretary tells her that the clinic is only accepting vaccinated patients.

WATCH | Woman tells how her mother was denied medical service:

When later contacted by CBC, Dr. Mohunlall Soowamber said there must have been a misunderstanding.

Soowamber says he treats unvaccinated patients over the phone whenever possible. For those who come in and are not vaccinated, he has been encouraging them to get both shots, he said.

"While leaving, we've told them that, you know, the next time you come, you should get vaccinated to protect us and protect the public as a whole," said Soowamber.

Wadestrandt said she's looking for another doctor, regardless of her plans to get fully vaccinated soon.

"I need to be with someone that I feel that they're really taking care of me," she said.

"The way that they just sent my mother home, it doesn't feel right with me, and I wouldn't be comfortable going back there."

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