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Derry GP handed 18-month suspension over Covid misinformation


Dr Anne McCloskey

Dr Anne McCloskey

Dr Anne McCloskey

Londonderry GP Dr Anne McCloskey has been handed an 18-month interim suspension as the General Medical Council (GMC) investigates allegations of Covid-19 misinformation.

The decision means she will not be able to practise medicine in the UK for that period.

The former Aontu councillor stood down from the party over differences of opinion regarding the pandemic.

She retired in 2019 but returned to the NHS last April to help in the Covid crisis.

Since then she has regularly posted articles online expressing her scepticism about the seriousness of the virus and the need for lockdowns.

Dr McCloskey has shared posts which liken the administration of vaccines to Nazi Germany and experiments carried out at concentration camps.

She recently shared concerns in a social media video about young people being given the vaccine.

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Last month the Health and Social Care Board suspended her as a “precautionary measure” while a full investigation was carried out.

The HSCB probe followed complaints from fellow GPs, at least one politician and members of the public about her “behaviour and conflict of interest”.

Now the GMC has revealed Dr McCloskey is currently “interim suspended” following a hearing on September 21 at the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS).

The GMC said: “The tribunal directed an 18-month interim suspension but all such restrictions are kept under regular review while a full investigation is carried out.

“Doctors are unable to practise medicine in the UK while interim suspended.

“The GMC can refer a doctor to the MPTS... at any point during an investigation, if it is necessary for the protection of the public, or otherwise in the public interest or in the interests of the doctor.

“These tribunals do not determine the facts of what happened, but undertake a risk assessment of whether temporary protection is needed.”

Dr McCloskey said last night she stood by her comments but didn’t wish to comment further.

SDLP MLA Sinead McLaughlin, who lodged a complaint with the GMC about Dr McCloskey, said: “I am deeply concerned at the misinformation spread about the vaccinations, particularly by those whose professional status means they should know better. I must stress that it is essential that medical professionals provide to patients the medical and scientific advice they are given in relation to vaccinations.

“In the North of Ireland we have a large number of people who have not been vaccinated who may have been influenced by anti-vaccination propaganda.

“In order to move our society out of the grip of the pandemic it is essential to increase the vaccination rate.”

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