I read MP Jeremy Patzer’s recent op-ed, “It’s time we talk about medical privacy” with interest. I fully agree that he has every right to decline to respond to such a request on the basis of medical privacy. However, the request is not as inappropriate as he claims and doesn’t violate the College of Physicians and Surgeon’s Code of Conduct regarding confidentiality, which would pertain to the confidential relationship between a physician and his or her patient.
We are living through a global pandemic that has impacted all of us. The fourth wave is upon us and has pushed our health care system to the brink. This has impacted the quality of care for both COVID and non-COVID patients. Surgeries are cancelled, services are delayed, and health care workers are exhausted. The fourth wave, unlike previous surges, was largely preventable. In the Southwest, we have communities with amongst the lowest uptake in the province.
Leadership is needed during crises. Our MLA, mayor and members of city council have publicly endorsed vaccinations and openly shared their vaccine status, but MP Patzer has remained silent.
Mr. Patzer has the right to privacy. It is also reasonable that constituents would request to know his vaccination status, particularly when the majority of MPs have publicly declared their status. Further, with vaccine mandates limiting travel and attendance on Parliament Hill, it raises questions whether he can effectively represent us in Ottawa. More importantly: has he taken a measure to protect himself and his community?