Unvaccinated patients say they were denied access into medical clinics
Two Calgary women are speaking out after they were denied access into medical facilities because of their vaccination statuses.
Bree Alexander says she took her six-month old daughter Kalayah to the MCI The Doctor’s Office clinic in the southeast to examine eczema on her infant’s foot. When she arrived and revealed she didn’t have her COVID-19 shots, she says the staff told her she wasn’t allowed in the building.
“I just started bawling and I left,” she said.
Alexander says she isn’t against vaccinations and that both her young children have received their shots.
“I’m also fully vaccinated except for the COVID-19 shot because it just seems kind of forced,” said Alexander.
The mother of two says she would also like to get more information about the vaccine before deciding to get it.
Nickie Edwards also hasn’t received the shots because she wants to be fully informed and have the freedom to make the decision when the time is right for her.
The 36-year-old says because of her decision to not get vaccinated, after her back surgery, she was denied an in-person follow up appointment with her surgeon at Canadian Surgery Solutions.
Calgarian Nickie Edwards says still can’t see her doctor post-back surgery because of her vaccination status.
“I was pretty disappointed because I had a lot of questions and a lot of concerns and a lot of things I wanted him to see,” said Edwards.
“For instance, my ability to bend, my ability to walk and all those things I’m not doing very well.”
CTV News reached out to a representative of Canadian Surgery Solutions who says during the pandemic, the facility has offered a mix of in-person and virtual appointments to patients. However, an appointment immediately following a surgery is done at the clinic with the doctor. Furthermore, the clinic does not deny patients health care no matter their vaccination status.
The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta says it doesn’t have a specific number of complaints related to unvaccinated patients being denied care but says it's heard of many reports of it happening.
In a statement the college said,
“We are working on updated guidance to physicians and clinics that clearly states patients cannot be denied care based on their vaccination status. However, physicians have the right to protect their patients and staff, and other measures may be considered by the physician, such as virtual care, postponing non-urgent visits and scheduling appointments at certain times.”
A representative with MCI tells CTV News there has been a misunderstanding.
“In order to protect all of our patients and staff, our clinics responsibly pre-screen incoming patients for symptoms of COVID-19. The COVID-19 vaccination status of a patient (or their family caregivers) is not a factor in pre-screening to allow entry to our clinics nor for provision of care. We regret that a localized misinterpretation of new public policy resulted in a patient not receiving in-person care. Immediately upon learning of this unacceptable incident, we have clarified the approach with the staff and doctors of this clinic and our MCI Medical Clinics in Calgary.
"We sincerely apologize to the family that had this experience.”
After CTV News reached out to MCI, Alexander was able to rebook her appointment with the clinic. She hopes that her story will educate others that they have a right to access medical care and can’t be denied.
“It is my right to not be vaccinated or vaccinated. I’m not going out in public and doing everything, I’m staying home like I’m supposed to. I’m going to see a doctor which is medical so they should be able to see me regardless of my medical history.”
As for Edwards, she followed up with Canadian Surgery Solutions Thursday and says a receptionist told her unvaccinated people are still not allowed inside the clinic.