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Regulatory group warns several Alberta doctors about sharing COVID-19 misinformation

The regulator has also spoken to doctors who gave into pressure from patients wanting an exemption letter.
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An entrance is blocked to the Peter Lougheed Centre hospital so staff can screen essential visitors who are the only visitors permitted in Alberta hospitals as part of COVID-19 precautions in Calgary on Thursday, April 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

EDMONTON — A group that oversees the practice of medicine in Alberta says it has told at least seven doctors who were spreading misinformation about COVID-19 that their behaviour was unprofessional.

Scott McLeod, registrar with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta, said the regulator has also spoken to doctors who gave into pressure from patients wanting an exemption letter — not grounded in clinical evidence — to avoid having to wear masks or vaccinations.

McLeod said the college is to publish a letter this week addressed to physicians and the public to reiterate its support for vaccines and public-health restrictions put in place to try to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The college said the doctors who were warned had been spreading misinformation on social media platforms or elsewhere.

McLeod said it's disappointing to see that type of behaviour and noted it has a significant effect because doctors have a powerful voice in society.

He adds the number of doctors painting a false narrative in the province is unprecedented.

McLeod said if doctors don't stick to basic science that outlines how to protect people during a pandemic, the public and other physicians can file an official complaint with the college.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 22, 2021.

The Canadian Press