Fake certificates being probed

September 28, 2022

The Department of Health today said it has been actively following up on the cases of individual private doctors suspected of abusing the issuance of medical exemption certificates in relation to COVID-19 vaccination.


Responding to media enquiries, the department said that together with the Health Bureau, it has referred the cases to the Medical Council of Hong Kong for follow-up.


As soon as the Government noted the irregularities, the department suspended the doctors' participation in the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme and is retrieving the COVID-19 vaccines distributed to them and they can no longer provide the jab service to the public.


In addition to being suspended from issuing medical exemption certificates via the eHealth System (Subsidies), these doctors are banned from other Department of Health subsidy programmes such as the Elderly Health Care Voucher Scheme.


They also can no longer issue further medical exemption certificates under the Vaccine Pass arrangement.


Private doctors are reminded of the importance of boosting the vaccination rate to build an immunity barrier and the guidelines issued by the department to them have listed the medical reasons for vaccination suitability.


Doctors should only issue medical exemption certificates after verifying the people concerned are not suitable for receiving the Sinovac and BioNTech vaccines currently provided in Hong Kong.


When considering the issuance of the exemption certificates, doctors are required to refer to the guidelines issued by the department and follow the Code of Professional Conduct for the Guidance of Registered Medical Practitioners when making clinical judgements on whether a patient's condition satisfies the listed medical reasons for not being suitable for vaccination.


The Government will closely monitor the issuance of medical exemption certificates by doctors and handle seriously cases concerning contravention of the code of professional conduct or criminal acts and pass the relevant information to the Medical Council of Hong Kong and enforcement departments for follow-up as appropriate.

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