Another Ontario doctor has been called on the carpet for questionable activities related to COVID-19 misinformation.
One week after a Richmond Hill doctor drew large crowds of people seeking vaccine exemptions, a Timiskiming-area physician is facing restrictions by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO).
In a release issued this morning, the College said allegations that Dr. Patrick Phillips is incompetent and engaged in "disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional conduct," have been referred to the Ontario Physicians and Surgeons Discipline Tribunal.
"In light of Dr. Phillips' refusal to co-operate with the College's investigation or comply with our remedial efforts, the College is further imposing restrictions," the statement said.Restrictions that took effect at 11:59 p.m. Sept. 27 prevent Phillips from providing medical exemptions in relation to masks, vaccines and testing for COVID-19. He is also restricted from providing ivermectin, Fluvoxamine and Atorvastatin in relation to the coronavirus — medications that are unproven and potentially dangerous.
Allegations against Phillips relate to his communications on social media regarding the pandemic and related issues.
This includes making misleading, incorrect or inflammatory statements about vaccinations, treatment and public health measures for COVID-19, the statement said.
A date for Dr. Phillips's hearing has not yet been set.
A Twitter account belonging to someone identifying as Patrick Phillips, MD "small town doctor and lover of freedom," shares anti-lockdown and anti-vaccine opinions, repeating debunked myths and misinformation about COVID-19, comparing the pandemic and public health measures to the Third Reich.
Phillips' public record on the CPSO website shows he graduated from Dalhousie University Faculty of Medicine in 2016, has a post-grad in family medicine and currently practices at Englehart and District Hospital near Kirkland Lake.
A news report dated Dec. 31, 2020, announced that Blanche River Health was welcoming Phillips, who relocated from southern Ontario.
An operator at the hospital said Phillips does not have an office there but is on a roster of physicians who take turns in the emergency department.
In June, the Twitter account under Phillips' name stated he was under investigation after the Timiskaming Health Unit complained about his reports.
In a post dated Sept. 25, he said "I will not apologize for my words."
Shae Greenfield, senior communications adviser for the CPSO, said the College remains concerned about activities on Sept. 18 and 19 related to Dr. Christopher Hassell at a Richmond Hill clinic.
Residents and local businesses reported seeing hundreds of people at York Medical Clinic on Yonge Street, reportedly to receive exemptions for the COVID-19 vaccine.
Greenfield said the College immediately began seeking to determine the veracity of the allegations against Hassell, but is prohibited from disclosing further details.
Greenfield said he could not disclose if there are other doctors currently being investigated for spreading COVID-19 falsehoods.
"We are prohibited under the RHPA from disclosing the existence of an investigation underway in most instances, so I'm afraid I can't point you to specific individuals who have not already been sanctioned or referred to the Tribunal."Another Ontario physician, Brampton pediatrician Dr. Kulvinder Gill, received multiple cautions from the College earlier this year for a "lack of professionalism" for her social media comments.
The Canadian Medical Association said in March that cases of doctors spreading falsehoods are a rare, but are a concern as social media makes it possible to reach a wide audience.