Jonie Girouard and Michael Girouard are Americans.
Michael Girouard is not registered to practise in New Zealand as a medical doctor and the couple’s Girouard Centre weight management and wellness website states that he isn’t registered to work in New Zealand as a GP.
However, the Girouard Centre website says Michael Girouard is available for non-medical appointments at their Canterbury clinic.
The NZ Herald
Covid 19 Delta outbreak: Husband of fake vax exemption Christchurch doctor Dr Jonie Girouard under spotlight
12 Dec, 2021 12:00 AM
The husband and clinic director of a doctor at the centre of a bogus jab exemption probe is now also under investigation.
Michael Girouard, the founder and director of the Girouard Centre in Kaiapoi, is now under the scrutiny of health authorities after it was revealed his wife, Dr Jonie Girouard, was handing out illegitimate medical certificates for people to dodge government mandates.
The unvaccinated GP was captured in an undercover Newshub sting issuing fake certificates and coaching patients on how to get away with it.
Her subversive anti-vax actions are the subject of a number of investigations with police confirming they had received a formal complaint from the New Zealand Medical Association.
The Medical Council has begun gathering information “with urgency”. It followed the Ministry of Health rejecting the American physician’s application for a Temporary Significant Service Disruption Exemption within 24 hours of the covert news clip going to air to enable her to treat patients in person without being vaccinated.
Today health authorities confirmed the weight loss clinic director’s actions were being examined in relation to the incident. In the undercover expose the doctor boasted of using the certificate to get an exemption to keep working saying it was easy as her husband was her employer.
The anaesthesiologist-turned-weight loss expert Michael Girouard shares a similar anti-vax stance as his wife, appearing recently on a social media conspiracy site talking about his unvaccinated status before raising issues about the vaccine’s safety.
Friday, December 10, 2021 RNZ
The Medical Council says it has begun gathering information “with urgency” in regard to a Kaiapoi GP who has been filmed handing out fraudulent vaccine exemption certificates at her clinic.
Newshub captured Jonie Girouard coaching clients on how to get away with using them and declaring she was unvaccinated.
The Medical Council, the body that ensures doctors were competent and fit to practise, is now working alongside the Ministry of Health which set the vaccination requirements, the Health and Disability Commissioner and the police to investigate the case.
Its chair Dr Curtis Walker said he could not say much about the individual case while it was under consideration.
“We did receive a complaint from the HDC [Health and Disability Commissioner] and have promptly started our processes of gathering the information we need with urgency and that really involves seeking the doctor’s response to what are pretty serious concerns.”
Dr Walker said in general terms whenever the Medical Council receives a complaint about a doctor’s “competence or conduct or health” it can firstly seek an undertaking from the doctor to modify their practice in some way which may include limiting the number of patients they can see or to have a chaperone.
He said at the most extreme end the council can suspend a doctor from practising while investigations are carried out.
Less than 30 antivax GPs in NZ, college estimates
From Checkpoint, 5:39 pm on 10 December 2021
Complaints have been made about doctors around the country on Covid-19 vaccine exemptions after the case of a Kaiapoi GP came to light.
Several investigations are underway into Dr Jonie Girouard who was caught on camera handing out medical certificates for people to avoid getting the Covid-19 vaccine.
Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners medical director Bryan Betty told Checkpoint they estimate there are less than 30 anti-vax GPs across the country.
However, doctors carried weight in what their advice as well as beliefs and views and that can be quite influential on patients, Dr Betty said.
“It’s really disappointing this happens but it is, as I said, a small number.”
Anti-vax doctors who have been identified so far were in small communities, he said, and had served them well over years.
“This issue has arisen and, for whatever reason, these beliefs are there with these practitioners and it is not a position that College of GPs backs, we’ve been very clear we’re pro-vaccination, we back the science and we back the need for vaccination in this country.”
It is possible that low vaccination in certain areas may be an effect of some anti-vax GPs’ underlying beliefs, he said.
“That impact can be amplified in an area where there may be only access to one of these practitioners to service the community.
“At the end of the day, doctors like anyone else are allowed to hold personal views. The standards in the country say if you do hold those personal views, they shouldn’t influence the balanced information that you give a patient in terms of their choice for medical treatment, that is a key principle.”
When that threshold is crossed, then it was dealt with seriously, as with the Kaiapoi GP’s case, he said.
The Health and Disability Commissioner has received 11 complaints about vaccination exemptions provided by health professionals.