Authorised officers have raided a surgery in Melbourne, taking confidential patient documents pursuant of Covid health orders according to a rattled Melbourne doctor shocked by the experience.
Seven authorised officers were recorded on a Facebook livestream arriving outside the surgery in the Western suburbs at 1.15pm today after Dr Mark Hobart allegedly refused to surrender private patient information to Victorian health officers.
“I have just been invaded by seven authorised officers from the Department of Health and they have seized my confidential patient files and my appointment book and various other documents. They say they are going to give me an itemised list of what they’ve taken. And there was quite an intimidating experience. I think they’ve gone now...” said Dr Mark Hobart. “They just came here to seize files […] they all just came in and started walking around.”
Dr Hobart said that he was not served with any kind of warrant.
“This means that the government can go to any doctor and enter their premises and seize patient files for no reason. They haven’t given me any reason why they wanted to see my patients’ files,” added Dr Hobart.
A sign affixed to the inside of the surgery window reads:
‘The Victorian Government has banned patients from entering this surgery because Dr [Mark] Hobart refused to surrender your private and confidential patient files.’
Morgan C Jonas live-streamed part of the incident to Facebook.
“I was told by these people that there is no such thing as patient confidentiality under the news laws,” said Dr Hobart, when asked about the status of patient confidentiality.
The authorised officers were allegedly acting under the current Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008, citing several sections to Dr Hobart while the files were being removed. Dr Hobart is not sure exactly what was taken. He had to hurriedly copy part of his appointment book, which was also confiscated.
Dr Hobart was also issued with a prohibition notice and told to cease training, meaning he is only allowed to speak with patients over the phone. He can no longer treat patients in the surgery or earn an income from his work.
One of the authorised officers interrogated the receptionist at the surgery, asking if she was fully vaccinated – she replied that she was.
“The doctor has to supply that to me. He [Mark Hobart] has to supply proof that you’re double-vaxxed or you’ve got an exemption,” said the authorised officer.
“I don’t feel comfortable with giving out people’s medical information,” replied Dr Hobart.
The staff were distressed at the Victorian government removing patient information without their knowledge. The authorised officers left with their arms full of private medical files.
They were asked if they would like to make a comment for the media, but the authorised officers did not reply.
Dr Mark Hobart is a family practitioner who has worked for three decades in the profession.