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Medical Council notes High Court decision on Dr Waters case

The Medical Council has made a statement on the developments regarding a case of the suspension from the register of a GP, who refused to administer the Covid-19 vaccine.

On 4 March 2021, following an in camera application by the Medical Council pursuant to Section 60 of the Medical Practitioners Act 2007 , the President of the High Court, Ms Justice Mary Irvine, made an Order (“suspension order”) that Dr Gerard Waters, General Practitioner, Whitethorn Clinic, Celbridge, Co Kildare be suspended from the Register of Medical Practitioners and be prohibited from engaging in the practice of medicine, pending the determination of complaints before the Council. The Court also made orders to facilitate the ongoing provision of medical care by other medical practitioners to patients of the Whitethorn Clinic.

Before making the suspension order, the Court had delivered a judgment dated 2 March 2021 (“the judgment”), also in camera, setting out the basis of the suspension order.

Following the making of the suspension order, a banner appeared on the wall of the Whitethorn Clinic which stated:

“Dr Waters has been suspended from the Medical register because he refused to give the Covid 19 vaccine and objected to the Covid 19 lockdowns”.

The Council was concerned that this banner misrepresented the basis for the making of the suspension order. The Council therefore made an application to the High Court on 31 March 2021 firstly that the judgment be published and secondly that the banner be removed. Consequent on that the application, the Court made an Order on 31 March 2021 granting both of those reliefs.

The judgment is available here.

In circumstances where the Council understands that an appeal to the Court of Appeal against the suspension has now issued on behalf of Dr Waters and where this matter is still being considered by the Medical Council under Part 7 of the Medical Practitioners Act 2007, the Medical Council will not be making further comment.

Section 60 of the Medical Practitioners Act 2007 allows the Medical Council to apply to the High Court for an order suspending a doctor’s registration. It can do this if the Council thinks it is necessary to protect the public.

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