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Kirkland Lake-area physician continues to fight COVID protocols

Dr. Patrick Phillips was suspended for speaking against COVID mandates and rules on social media
Dr. Patrick Phillips, a Northern Ontario physician facing discipline by the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons (CPSO) for criticizing COVID-19 public health measures, lockdowns and even vaccinations, continues to argue his case on social media.

A Northern Ontario physician who is facing discipline by the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons (CPSO) for criticizing COVID-19 public health measures, lockdowns and even vaccinations, continues to argue his case on social media.

Dr. Patrick Phillips spoke one week ago in a YouTube interview with a channel known as The Daily Clout. Started by Naomi Wolf, famed author of The Beauty Myth, the website has been criticized for allegedly spreading misinformation and conspiracy theories on a host of topics, including the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Phillips, who previously had a medical practice in Englehart and Kirkland Lake, came under fire in the summer of 2021 when he began speaking out on social media such as Twitter and Facebook and built up a legion of followers for his opinions on the pandemic.  

The CPSO took action against Phillips and ordered that he appear before a physician disciplinary tribunal for committing acts of professional misconduct,

"It is alleged that Dr. Phillips engaged in disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional conduct and failed to maintain the standard of practice of the profession in relation to his communications, including communications on social media and other digital platforms, regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and related issues. This includes making misleading, incorrect or inflammatory statements about vaccinations, treatments and public health measures for COVID-19," said a statement from CPSO.

Along with being told he would need to argue his case before a formal tribunal, Phillips was also given a temporary suspension order on his privileges to practice medicine. 

"Yeah, my horror story began in 2020," Phillips told the interviewer.

"Like most other doctors, we were just following the public health protocols, because we didn't know anything about it and we were just going to do what we were told," he continued.

Phillips said as the pandemic rolled on and the province was entering the third and fourth waves, he said in his opinion the pandemic was not as bad as the government said it was. 

"One is that I wasn't seeing the devastation and full hospitals they were claiming on the news. Our hospital was almost empty. There was almost no work for me to do. Mostly because people were so afraid," said Phillips. He said patients were “too afraid to go to the emergency department, or they would show up days and weeks later," said Phillips.

In the online interview, Phillips said the result was people began showing up with other illnesses that had advanced beyond the initial stages to the point where the illness was far more serious. These were not COVID-19 cases, he said.

Phillips spoke of one case of a patient with back pain who was eventually admitted to the emergency room. He said the back pain turned out to be a large lump on the patient's back that was actually cancer.

Phillips said "normal medical care" would have discovered the situation earlier. Also, with a lockdown declared, Phillips said many medical cases were dealt with virtually through telemedicine. He said too many serious cases of sickness were being treated over the phone.

In the interview, Phillips also said while he sees many ordinary Canadians as now being more open to ideas that COVID is not as prevalent or as damaging as first proclaimed, he said the prevailing attitude at higher levels of government is very much the opposite.

"They are cracking down harder now than ever," Phillips said, claiming there is oppression behind the scenes in the sense that anyone who speaks out against vaccines or against mandates is still facing criminal charges or having their careers negatively impacted.

Phillips said there is “hope” in Alberta with the election of Premier Danielle Smith, who he said is the only Canadian premier in favour of maintaining freedoms during the pandemic.

Allegations of Dr. Patrick Brian Phillips’s professional misconduct have been referred to the Ontario Physicians and Surgeons Discipline Tribunal. 

If the tribunal finds that Phillips has indeed committed professional misconduct it could take further action with respect to his medical licence and privileges to practice medicine. 

Another Ontario physician, Dr. Crystal Luchkiw is facing a similar situation before CPSO for the same reasons for speaking out against COVID protocols and vaccinations.

The Barrie doctor intends to challenge the college of physicians in the courts. 

Len Gillis covers health care and mining for

Len Gillis

About the Author: Len Gillis

Graduating from the Journalism program at Canadore College in the 1970s, Gillis has spent most of his career reporting on news events across Northern Ontario with several radio, television and newspaper companies. He also spent time as a hardrock miner.
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